Friday, December 05, 2008

When Things Look Bad to Her—and She’s Right

In today’s New York Times, columnist Judith Warner describes (with great honesty, I think) the dilemmas she faces in talking with her children about bad news, like terrorism in Mumbai, the Black Friday trampling death @ Wal Mart, etc.

She raises an especially Gordian problem—how do we respond when one of our children has an ongoing fascination with bad news, how bad things happen, what they look like, and why bad things happen.

Good parenting suggests that you “confirm for your child what he thinks he’s already observing,” as one expert told the Wall Street Journal. I think we also have to keep learning to know our child as the individual she is—so we can do our best to respond to that individual with comfort, appropriate knowledge—and hope.

Please use the comment function to share your experiences with explaining bad news to your children—what seemed to work well and what didn’t. Other parents will benefit from your insight.