Talking to My Kids about Difficult Headlines

What do I say to my kids about school shootings and/or other anxiety-provoking news? How do you help your kids feel safe when their world feels out of control?

I get many questions on this. 

One thing I always tell my kids (no matter what age) is to “Look For the Helpers!” Find the people on the television at the event that are helping! Point them out. What are they doing?

This to me it is important to have hope and belief along with total desolation, complete terror, shocking decimation, and unfathomable human suffering is BENEVOLENCE. People who are, despite the circumstances, rushing in to help. These countless people, 911 receptionists, EMS personnel, hospital staff, doctors, firemen, police officers, Red Cross aids, Mental Health Professionals, Community Schools, churches, and other agencies, are there to help and they show up even when it’s overwhelming. They have done and are continuing to do the training to be warriors. To exemplify courage, strength, and the ability to move into compassionate action.

We need to do our training, so we can one day mobilize our compassion. We need to work at it every single day. To not get knocked down and paralyzed by fear and anxiety. This state is also filled with compassion, but it cannot be put into action if we freeze. So to unfreeze it, we do our training. We need to train in mindfulness and compassion.

We train our minds. We understand what our thoughts are telling us, where our feelings are arising from, and we know how to protect ourselves.

We often feel overwhelmed and paralyzing anxiety when self-compassion is overlooked. We go into a state of empathic distress. It keeps us stuck and unable to move into compassionate action.

This exercise is not to minimize the suffering and grief that is unfolding. It is there. It’s unavoidable and hard to put into words. The exercise is to show in every moment of suffering there, is good. There is a beauty in our human capacity to love and give compassion.  To enter with chivalry and courage, bravery, strength and compassionate wisdom. We are not to be blind to this. This is our opportunity to train more! 

Ellen Brown

My name is Ellen, and I’m a local Atlanta Copywriter. I’m an avid writer, blogger, editor and a media professional with a Bachelor’s in English from the University of Georgia. I grew up in Savannah, Georgia and recently moved to Atlanta to pursue copywriting.