MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - In light of the recent Boston bombings and horrific breaking news of the week, teachers and parents alike are facing the challenges of explaining these events to children.
FOX10 News asked how to do this in an understanding way to children who might not understand.
We talked to a school counselor at St. Luke's Episcopal School and a psychologist at the University of South Alabama about what tactics to take when it comes to explaining tragedies to children.
"Keep it simple and keep it truthful. The more details you add, the more they take in and start to create," said lower school counselor Melissa Wallace at St. Luke's Episcopal School in Mobile.
Wallace said parents should reassure their children there are people around to protect them.
When it comes to explaining tragedies to children, counselors said it's important to tell the truth. That way children know the source of the information is reliable. At school, however, that can be a problem. That's when teachers step in.
"They are very well aware of how to handle that…in a manner where we are not subjecting the other kids to information they may not have heard," Wallace said.
Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of South Alabama Dr. Tres Stefurak said when we have the television on, we may not realize what children are taking in.
"The first step to take responsibility for making a decision as a parent what you want to say and how you want to say it," Stefurak said.
Dr. Stefurak said one of the most important things to point out about bad situations is all the good that can come from them.
"Many people pointed out in the video of this bombing, the people running towards the disaster. It may give them some sense of security, that bad things happen but in your family and in your community and in your nation, there's many more people who are willing to help and are willing to prevent these bad things," Stefurak said.
Dr. Stefurak said another useful tip for parents and teachers is to pull out a map and show children were they are in relation to the disaster.
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