It is likely that your child has stumbled across images or videos of the current unrest in the USA while on YouTube or on social media and it is quite possible that they have overheard conversations at home or in the corridors of School.
It is important that we support young people to make sense of the world rather than allowing them to connect the dots and fill the gaps in an unhelpful way.
Tips for parents of Preschoolers:
Children in this age range are unlikely to understand the political climate, however, they will be aware of the reactions this elicits in others. Preschoolers are likely to detect the tension in hushed conversations between their parents, they are likely to recognise the anger in faces of demonstrators and the fear in the faces of victims.
Preschoolers are likely to show us they’re not coping through their behaviours. To minimise the impact on them, it is recommended that parents view and read news material when children are not there.
The news is distressing and upsetting and therefore it is also important to reset your feelings after viewing this material and before engaging your children.
Tips for parents of Primary School children:
Children in Primary School are much more likely to ask questions in order to make sense of the world.
In line with our School motto, parents can encourage unity through diversity by embracing differences.
Primary School students are much more likely to see images online and remember scary details from them. Again, it is encouraged that you limit your child’s access to devices by encouraging family time and as much as possible to supervise screen use.
It is also recommended that you ask your child what they know about the protests, so you can identify and correct any misinformation.
Tips for parents of High School students:
Teenagers can access information on their personal devices, and the internet and social media platforms are full with content related to the protests against racism.
Many of our students are coping through activism, by re-posting images and engaging in discussions online.
Adolescents will have their own views about the current events and we can engage in meaningful conversation with them about their thoughts and feelings. It is our role to listen to allow our teenagers to feel heard.
Please note that IGS Director of Counselling Services Joe Degeling and I continue to be available to you and your children during this time and you are welcome to contact us.
IGS Clinical School Psychologist