HELPING CHILDREN COPE DURING TRAGEDY

rogers“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” – Fred Rogers

During recent tragic events in Boston, there have been lots of helpers: doctors, nurses, emergency personnel , those that triaged, marathoners and onlookers, FBI and police, citizens who contributed photos, videos and tips.  Our President visited the injured, consoled families and spoke for our nation. Holding them up as examples is one way to reassure children.

Other suggestion from The Mister Rogers Parenting Book and The Fred Rogers Company include staying calm, letting children know you are doing all you can to care for them and keep them safe, directing play to positive themes, giving additional comfort and physical attention, turning off the TV, letting them know you feel sad and letting them know if you are doing anything to help like giving blood or making a donation.

The American Academy of Pediatricians also provides helpful suggestions, especially for children who are a little older.

Books that emphasize peace and tolerance and assure us of our rights also lend  support.  Here are a few:

Sometimes Bad Things Happenmindpeace

About Tina Zubak

I've been a librarian at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh for about 12 years, first at the Beechview branch and now at Children's. I've written some books myself, but alas, no publications. Among my favorite books are BFG, Houndsley and Catrina and the Quiet Time, Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Nation and Rose Daughter.
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