Talking about a tragedy with your teenaged children can be one of the toughest tasks that you might have ever faced. The tragedies can range from bereavement of a family member or someone in the neighborhood, the death of a pet, or a disaster at local or national level. Whatever the news, our teenagers hear and discuss them all with their peers and form an opinion that is not necessarily correct by jumping to wrong conclusions. There is no easy way to talk to them about these tragedies happening around us and teaching them how to face them. However, the following tips may be of some help during the course of action:
Increase Your Interactions
After the tragedy, you must try to have more interactions with the teenagers for some time. They must not be left alone to tackle the situation. You must also try to observe changes in their behavior, if any, and talk to them to reduce their stress levels.
Find Out What They Are Thinking About The Tragedy
When you talk to your teenager children about the recent bad news, do not make an assumption on what they must be thinking about it. Rather, ask and let them tell you what actually they are thinking. If they ask any questions, try to respond them as honestly and simply as possible. If you do not know the answer to these questions, you can tell them so. You must explain them that tragedies are part of life and how one must learn to accept them. If it is a national or local tragedy that they are worried about, you must try to assure them that they are safe and there is a whole system working to protect them.
Help Children Express Their Grief
In case of a tragic event, obviously the teens will express their grief. They may do so by crying or sobbing. You must let them do it and not stop them immediately. Coping with tragedies takes time at such tender ages. However, sometimes their behavior of coping with the problem may be different from an adult. Some teenagers do not simply cry. They show their resentment in the form of anger and disobedience. In such cases, you must sit with them and make them realize that it is perfectly all right to feel upset about the event and they must slowly try to move on. Many children in early teenage years have been seen to regress to their childhood behavior. It is fine as long as they return to their normal behavior within a short period. If it does not happen, you must get professional help. In some cases, the teenagers do not know how to express their feelings about the incident. In such times, they need your help in learning how to express their grief.
Be There For Them
You must make them realize that whenever they need to talk and discuss something about the incident, you are always there for them. This will help them feel free to come to you if they face any problems.
By doing these things, you can talk about a tragedy while consoling you teens. However, you must always take care to check your own stress levels while you try to help your teens sail through this.