In these difficult times with so much terrorism in our world, I offer these words to help children with their fears, sadness and worries.
Giving children a voice can be very healing and reassuring.
A Message to Children,
There truly are mostly good people in the world. People help others by protecting them from harm. People help others who are less fortunate. They help others learn, create and grow in positive ways. People also open doors for others, say please and thank-you, and do all kinds of nice things for each other.
But, sadly, there are some people in the world who act in very bad ways; and these people are terrorists. These are people who hurt and harm and sometimes kill others. When they hurt others, and we see it on TV, it can make us feel really sad. It can make us feel scared. It can make you worry that it will happen to you or your family and friends.
It's hard to understand why people hurt and harm others, but what we do understand is that we can help ourselves and our friends and family when sadness, worry, and fear appear.
When you, a friend or family member get scared, feel sad or worry, the best way to feel better is by talking and sharing your feelings - with your mom and dad, your teacher, friends, and other people in your family.
Sometimes you may have to think a little bit about who you feel most comfortable talking with so that you can feel better. Talking about your fears, your worries and your sadness can be healing, just like putting medicine or a bandage on a sore to heal a wound.
Your parents and others will help you feel safe and comfort you. Tell them what scares you. Tell them what you believe. They are there to help you feel better. Do your best to listen to their advice. Your well-being matters to your parents, teachers and others.
When we see others, including our parents, worried and sad over events that happen in the world, it can sometimes be hard to ask them questions, maybe thinking you don't want to upset them more. It's always okay to ask questions. You can also say, “I know you are sad about what happened, but can I ask you some questions about what happened.” It's also okay to ask, "Will this happen to our family?" "Are we safe?"
You can also help yourself and others by thinking about the nice people you know and by thinking about things that people do that are helpful and kind to others. And even though we see and hear about sad and scary stories on TV, there are so many good stories in the world that - for some reason - aren't often shown on TV.
Sometimes it is helpful to think about what makes you feel safe or think about a color or sound that makes you happy. Then, try thinking about these things when you feel sad, scared or worried.
You can also say this to yourself, “I am safe in this moment.” “Everything in this moment is okay.” Repeating these thoughts to yourself when you feel worried will help you because it is true - and that’s an important message to tell yourself and to remind yourself of.
We can also help the world. Each one of us can try to be a little nicer to each other. We can try to be mindful (which means just thinking harder about what we do) of how we treat our friends and our family by listening to each other more, helping more and caring more about the feelings of others.
I am really sorry that bad things happen in our world. I know it can be scary. But, I encourage you to share your worries. And, know that most of the time you are safe.
I hope that one day, you and everyone else will live with more and more peace and harmony.