When our kids are online, we can't shield them from all the things they will encounter. It can be difficult to have conversations with our kids about events. But, if they are online, they have seen the news (and will keep seeing it). They need our help to learn how to process what they are hearing, reading, seeing, and feeling.
Ways you can help your kids process tragic news at any age:
Here are a few great additional resources to help you help your kids:
Explaining The News to Our Kids - Common Sense Media
Helping your children manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting - American Psychological Association
NASP Urges Support for Psychological Safety in Schools, Calls for Action to Reduce Gun Violence - National Association of School Psychologists
Understanding and Coping with the Effects of Violence - Sesame Street
After taking the time to process and to grieve (both you and your kids) another senseless shooting, it is time to take action. Fred Rodgers said to "look for the helpers." If you have the capacity to be a helper, rally your courage and step up.
I know it can feel impossible, but the ocean is filled with drops of water so together we can create a bigger impact. Pick one thing to do today and then another to do tomorrow, next week, next month. I have added a recurring event on my calendar to contact my elected officials and I hope you do too.
Resources to help reduce gun violence in America:
Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action
Sandy Hook Promise
For adults, the term IRL - in real life - truly meant life offline.
At least at first.
It was a game, a past time, something we were all figuring out. We were told that the things we did online in essence weren't real because they happened online. But the actions we, and others, take online can have offline consequences.
Using this phrase, IRL has done a disservice to us, to our kids generation and to all younger generations who are growing up with access to the world through a digital platform. Digital Natives. For them the digital world is just as real as the one offline. They are interconnected and they can’t be separated.
Real life isn’t just offline.
Online and offline impact and are effected by each other. Saying offline is ‘real life” is an illusion that perpetuates the idea that what happens online doesn’t matter.
But, it does matter.
Our young people have had a digital presence from such an early age and they are generally unaware of the consequences (good and bad) that their online life has offline.
We need to
Join the conversation! Let me know how you are helping make your kids aware of how their online actions effect their offline life experience.
Most kids think their parents are unaware of how this digital world works.
Unfortunately, because of that, your kid might be unlikely to come to you for guidance about things that happen online. Even though social interactions have similar outcomes on and offline, it can be difficult for kids to see the similarities. SO since these things are happening online, they assume we as parents won’t be of any help.
Here are a few conversations you can have with your kid so they know they can come to you when something uncomfortable or unsafe comes up online.
If you would like to see detailed examples of any of these, comment below or message the Start Effect on social media.