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Family therapist makes recommendations for talking to children about tragedy

covid kids mental health
Posted at 4:45 PM, May 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-25 19:45:18-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN9) — In today’s world, your child might have seen the news on tv or their phones before you did.

“One of the things that will help a child feel safer going back to school is to feel less chaotic inside,” said Relationship Renovation Family Therapist Renay Burger. “It starts there.”

Burger says it might sound simple, but just talking to a child about how they are feeling can go a long way.

“They will become more emotionally regulated and become more calm and more present.”

She says caregivers need to help their child feel safe sharing their emotions, that it is ok to have a range of feelings, and to keep the lines of communication open.

“We as grownups need to provide a safe place for kids to process their experience.”

Try to calibrate how detailed the conversation needs to be based on the age of the child. Acknowledge your own feelings, but in a controlled and calm way.

“Having your emotions is important for them to relate to you as kids that are having emotions but making sure you are regulated.”

Burger says the goal is to help your child with their burden without adding your own baggage onto them.

“We can speak the unspeakable and you are safe, even if what we have to talk about is uncomfortable.”

Brian Brennan’s fascination with weather began as a kid in Arizona watching the intense thunderstorms during monsoon. He has covered major breaking news, court trials, Nellis Air Force Base, and has put himself at the center of many weather events.