How Do You Speak to a Three-Year-Old About Violent News Events?

Violence in real time or a violent environment is not something that a small child easily understands. After all, it is also difficult for an adult to comprehend. Therefore, this type of subject can be quite disturbing. To make sure that you calm your child’s fears or that he or she understands, you must present this type of subject diplomatically and gently.

Is Your Child Acting Out of Character?

Indeed, violence can affect a young mind, leading to certain behavioral clues. For example, responses to crisis events often affect a child by causing him or her to act out of character. He or she may whine or act too young for his or her age. Some children have problems with sleep or complain of an upset stomach. When this happens, they want to go back in time to when they felt more secure.

You have a tall order to fill as a parent if your child witnesses violence on the TV. As noted, violence in the news makes adults feel quite uneasy. However, you cannot show this side in front of your child. Children who attend preschool in Bangkok often react strongly to a parent’s discomfort. Therefore, you cannot show that any report of violence visibly affects you adversely. This means that you have to subdue your own emotions in front of a two-year-old or three-year-old.

How to Handle the Situation

To help your child feel safer and less scared, it is important to focus his or her attention on their everyday routine, and steer your child clear of news reports that place an emphasis on “scary.” If your child hears disturbing news, you can deal with the situation in one of the following ways:

  • Learn more about what your child already understands or knows. Simply sit down and ask him or her what he or she heard and his or her Reassure him or her saying that everything is being done to keep things safe and secure. Never say “Don’t be afraid.” Instead, validate your child’s feelings and reassure him or her that people are working toward keeping everything normal.
  • Do not talk about the event. Even if you child has learned unsettling news, he or she will probably forget about it if you maintain a calm demeanor. Children easily bounce back if they do not believe they need to take something seriously.
  • Stick to a routine. After a frightening event, you may feel inclined to keep your child near you. However, it is better to follow a routine. Doing so will keep things in balance, which will make your child feel safe once more.

If you do need to answer questions about the event, keep the answers direct and honest. For example, if your preschooler asks why people died, you might say the following: A bad individual felt upset and hurt people. Impart the fact that this type of incident is exceptionally rare and that everything is okay.

Keeping a Handle on the Situation

By taking the above measures, you can assure your child and make him or her feel better about a bad event. You do not have to go into lengthy explanations. The main thing to keep in mind is to make him or her feel safe and keep things as normal as possible.

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