It’s no surprise that the influx of shootings and violence is concerning and down right scary for our children and us parents. It raises our anxiety and brings up a lot of questions about our safety. Here are some tips to deal with our raised anxiety around this issue:
1. Talk about your feelings.
Talking through our fears and worries helps us to process and work through it. Keeping it all inside is not helpful. Talk to your significant other, friends, or family.
2. Stick with your routine.
Yes, it is scary, but life has to go on and we still have to function and live our life. Routine helps to ease anxiety and create a sense of normalcy.
3. Turn it off.
Yes, we want to stay informed, but if you feel your anxiety spiking and it is just not serving you, then go ahead and turn off that TV or stop reading that article. Go do something that is fun or lighter (listen to music, go outside, keep busy).
How to help your kids deal with the anxiety
If you have a child who is old enough to start asking questions about shootings and violence, here are some tips on how you can help ease their anxiety:
1. Talk to them about their feelings.
Let them express their concerns to you. It is not helpful to vent to them about how anxious you are, as that will make them more anxious and add to their anxiety. You can validate their feelings by saying something like, “I can understand that you are a little scared.” Having them talk about their feelings helps them to process things as well and feel those they love support them.
2. Reassure and give them some love
After validating their feelings, let them know that you love them and the adults in their life (parents, teachers, family, police officers, etc.) do everything they can to keep them safe
3. Stick with their routine.
Again, sticking with a routine helps to ease anxiety and create a sense of normalcy.
4. Limit exposure to the TV.
Allow them to get their information from you instead of the TV. You can be honest about what is happening but they don’t need to know every single detail.