Protect children from alarming coverage
When it comes to alarming news coverage, parents should strive to protect their children from viewing the chaos. Dr. Laurel Williams, associate professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, offers tips for parents:
- Limit social media
- Limit news coverage
- Watch news together (if a child is interested or worried). Ask what they heard and learned, or what they are concerned about. Then, help provide them with facts to address their questions.
- Do activities that reflect your values as a family to help counteract feelings of helplessness
- Keep to your routine
- Be kind and pass kindness along
“I always remind parents and kids about the airplane rule: first, put the oxygen mask on yourself (take care of your mental well-being), then turn to your child. Next, I ask a parent, ‘How do you think your child is viewing you and how you are managing anxiety and fear?’ so the parent can be a model for their child. It’s always good to ask how your child feels and what they are thinking. It is better to ask and not assume,” Williams said.