In A World that Can Challenge Us
These are days full of news that can make adults feel stressed. At times, that stress finds its way to children. They sense anxiety and they are vigilant for cues as to why that tension exists. Adult conversations, news reports on television or radio and print material can all give children a sense that the world is not a safe place for them or their families. In some classes children have talked about the election; in others they have talked about being in a demonstration. Here are some ideas for ways we can work together to support and assure our children:
Limit screen time. Children have little ability to process news reports and understand whether the news will have a direct impact on them or those they love.
Talk to provide clarity and comfort. If your child has been close by when a conversation has been within hearing, it may help to debrief the conversation in a child’s terms. “Did you hear Aunt Sally’s story? She was feeling upset, but she’ll be OK and so will we. We all love and take care of each other.”
Spend time doing the familiar. There is something comforting about the usual things we can share. Making a meal together, drawing together, having time to talk after story at bed time all reinforce the image of a world that your child can depend on, one that is predictable and full of loving adults.
Do something for someone else and include your child. Drop off food at a food pantry, donate clothing to an organization that distributes them to others, make a donation of money you find during a clean-up or your child earns for doing a “job.” This can give children a sense that something within our power can make the world a nicer place for someone else.
Keep the lines of communication open. Notice your child’s mood. “It looks like you have something on your mind. Are you worried about something?” “I noticed that you haven’t had any of your snack. Is there something we can talk about? Sometimes I feel better when I share a worry with someone else.”
Remember, nothing makes a child’s world stable more than quality time with a parent who is engaged and having fun. It reminds them that there is love and safety in their very own home!
If you feel you’d like more information, we can always help provide that. Please let us know how we can help.
TCEE is thrilled to partner with BEEP and its wonderful and visionary leader, Vicki Milstein. Vicki has been in the field of Early Education for more than 30 years and in Brookline for 18. Vicki graduated with Honors from Wheelock College and has a graduate degree from Lesley University earning a certification as a Consulting Teacher of Reading. Vicki has been a teacher in kindergarten and Pre K as well as a Director of an Early Childhood Center and an instructor at the college level. She has taught college and graduate school courses in early education, literacy and math. She has supervised student teachers in birth to five programs as well as kindergarten to grade three. Vicki has taught internationally and for study tours from Barbados to Taiwan and Singapore. She has presented at national conferences on math and early literacy and authored a book, “Integrating Math in Early Childhood Classrooms” (Scholastic 2007) Vicki was named Brookline Woman of the Year 2008 and was received The Sperber Award for excellence in administration 2013.