P.S. ARTS stands firmly against all acts of hatred, violence and terrorism. Our hearts break for the victims of the devastating attacks by Hamas against Israel, and the resulting war and humanitarian crisis. Children are the world’s most valuable resource and are the true victims of war. We hope for peace and safety, for the sake of our youngest generation.
Below are some suggestions for those interested in how to discuss violence and terrorism:
- Ask: Find out what they understand and help explain what they don’t. Try using a map, books, or a metaphor to answer questions with age-appropriate information. Acknowledge their feelings and assure them.
- Listen: Keep it calm and age-appropriate. Use age-appropriate language when explaining complicated terms. Be mindful of tone and use regulation techniques when needed including breathing exercises.
- Focus: Remind them that many people are working hard around the world to help each other. Encourage compassion. Share positive stories of people helping others, and ask if they would like to participate in positive action or expression in some way.
- Check-in: Close conversations with care and keep checking in. Reassure them that they are safe and loved. Remind them that they are supported whenever they are feeling overwhelmed. Continue to ask about their thoughts and feelings, both emotional and physical.
- Take Care: Limit the flood of news and take care of yourself. Be mindful of exposure to news in and outside of the household, including on social media. Create positive alternative experiences to allow emotional healing. Take time for yourself to relieve anxiety, anger, and other emotions you may be experiencing.