Counselor Conversation: A Response to Current Events
It is very likely that by now, many of our students have already seen the news or heard about the current situation in Israel and Gaza. If needed, below are some steps and strategies that parents and guardians can consider when approaching challenging conversations or answering questions about current events.
Take time to prepare:
Take some time to process your own feelings so that you feel prepared to have this conversation with your child.
Learn what she knows:
If you choose to open the conversation or if your child comes to you with questions or concerns, consider first asking what she knows about the conflict, what she has heard or what she thinks about things happening in our world today. Let her thoughts and questions lead the conversation.
Be honest and clear:
Build upon what your child has brought to the conversation by sharing the facts using clear language. Consider your child’s age, individual sensitivities and previous experiences when deciding what to share with her at this time.
Build in a “pause”:
Give your child time to process the information that you have shared, listen to her feedback and make space for follow up questions. If you can’t answer a question, acknowledge it. Take some time to gather your thoughts or information to best address her question when you feel more prepared to do so.
Let your child know that the conflict is physically far away, yet our feelings and compassion for those affected is real; use this moment to talk about having empathy for those who are involved in this conflict.
Make a plan:
Help your child identify adults at home and at school who can help her feel safe should she begin to worry or feel upset. If your child is experiencing anxiety around this current event, having a plan for who she might turn to for support can help her feel a sense of safety and security while navigating her feelings about the current situation.
Think about media exposure:
Make the best decision for your family when it comes to limiting access to TV, online news, and social media.
Talk about Goal Three of Sacred Heart Education "A social awareness which impels to action":
Thinking about the ways in which you, your family and your community can take action to help those in need is a helpful and healthy way to cope with feelings about a difficult situation.