Sadly, it’s not just the tragedy in Boston this week; our nation has faced an overabundance of tragic and threatening news recently, from the Texas fertilizer plant explosion to the emotional gun law debate and the tragic events it evokes, such as the Colorado shootings, the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre, etc.
As parents, we probably try to shield our young children from such horrific news—for them, Nickelodeon and Disney Channel are far more entertaining than CNN or Fox News.
However, for our tweens and teens, these are stories we can’t hide. They hear about it through social media, and they talk about it at school. This was evidenced when my eighth-grader said: “Some of my friends at school think the North Koreans bombed Boston, but I don’t think that’s true. Do you?”
Our kids process things differently from the way we do, and there is a lot of tragic news to digest. I think we, as parents, can follow basic PR tips when addressing such issues with our children:
Know your audience. Determine how much your child can handle—based not on age but on overall emotional maturity. How much do they understand? How will they be affected?