Posts Tagged ‘“cotton wool” parenting’

Explaining the Paris Tragedy to Young Children

November 15, 2015



How on earth do you explain the tragedy that took place in Paris to young children?

Below are some tips by experts in the field I used for the Colorado shooting, but they are just as apt in this instance:


Watch for Trauma: “Young children may have difficulties identifying and expressing feelings. Parents should pay attention to the children’s play (for instance, preoccupation with certain aggressive electronic games, drawings, repetitive play that imitates the traumatic event or events). Another sign of trauma is avoidance of reminders.” — Dr. Aurelia Bizamcer, Medical Director, Outpatient Psychiatry at Temple University Hospital

Keep Answers Truthful but Simple: “We’re not holding back, but we’re not giving more because the giving more could have the risk of alarming the child. … As a parent you have an obligation to protect a young child from being overwhelmed.” –Alan Kazdin, Professor of Psychology and Child Psychiatry at Yale University; Director of the Yale Parenting Center.

Reassure Them: “We need to appreciate that kids have different fears. Many will worry about the movies, but others will worry about such events spilling over to other areas, such as the mall, school, the neighborhood. For kids of all ages, it is really important to let them know that these kinds of events are incredibly rare. ” –Dr. Gene Beresin, Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency Training, Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital

Keep Answers Age-Appropriate: “Parents should be sure to pitch the discussion to their kids’ developmental level. For a 6-year-old, it’s completely appropriate to reassure them of their safety, with some emphasis on the fact that this person is no longer at large. For kids over the age of 8, more concrete details are appropriate, along with, perhaps, a general discussion of how to be safe in public — locating exit doors for instance, and getting to safety in the event of any dangerous occurrence.” –Jay Reeve,President and Chief Executive Officer, Apalachee Center

Don’t Make Assumptions: “Don’t project your own feelings, fears and anxiety on kids because you know you don’t really know exactly what your kids are feeling until you talk to them.” –Dr. Jane Taylor, psychiatrist


Click on the link to read Some Kids Are So Brave! (Video)

Click on the link to read Guess What This Map Represents

Click on the link to read Is There a Greater Tragedy than a School Tragedy?

Click on the link to read Advice for Talking With Your Kids About the Boston Marathon Attack

Letting Kids Take Risks is Healthy for Them

September 30, 2012


In the age of over regulation and OH&S interference it’s important to be reminded that taking risks can be beneficial for children:

ALLOWING children to take risks increases their resilience and helps them make judgments.

The current “cotton wool” culture means many kids are not getting the chance to fully explore their world and learn essential life skills.

“Too many kids are playing it too safe, [creating] a marshmallow generation,” says child psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg.

“If you restrict children from playing outside, you send a message that the world is a much more terrifying place than it is and you run the risk of making kids risk-averse,” he says.

“They will spend more time on the computer and being sedentary. Children ought to be taking risks and it is not the end of the world if a child has an accident.”

The need for kids to learn to take calculated risks in safe environments has been a fervent topic of discussion in the media following recent reports that a Sydney inner-suburban primary school had banned kids from doing cartwheels and handstands.

“Schools are scared parents would sue if children were injured,” Carr-Gregg says. “This play-paralysis means children no longer experience adventure.”

Click on the link to read ‘Love’ as Defined by a 5-Year Old

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