We’re Scared Again
Life is fragile. What can we do?
Today, our hearts’ desire is for our kids to feel safe, comforted, and supported in the wake of another school shooting. We want to guide them to sort out their feelings of anger, sadness, anxiety, fear, and more. And help them process what happened. We know our insight and support are far superior to what their peers can offer. We can invite and encourage open and honest dialogue with them using open ended statements like these:
- I’m wondering what you are thinking about the school shooting.
- You’ve spent a lot of time watching the news, how are you feeling?
- Let’s touch base with you about the school shooting.
We want to assure our kids that they are safe and it is good to talk about it. We want to reassure them that their emotions are normal. Our goal is to listen, not lecture or expound upon our own angst. We can use empathy to express our understanding them:
- I don’t blame you for being scared
- I think you are right, this is…
- It sounds like…
Empathy expresses, “I understand you and your experience.” When we communicate like this our kids know we grasp and appreciate their point of view. They feel understood and validated emotionally and cognitively. They trust us. This one thing, empathy, makes our connection and closeness significantly better.
This is how we change the world. By understanding each other.
If I can be of help to you, I’m an email away. Click here to watch a short video about empathy.