The images of people dancing in the streets juxtaposed with a photograph of a grimacing man are raising plenty of questions among tots of all ages. Try as a mama might to shield her child from the horrors of the world, it's hard to avoid one of the biggest stories of the past decade this week. When your lil one asks you who Osama bin Laden was and why American forces killed him, how do you answer them?
This morning, The Today Show brought in a psychiatrist and a developmental specialist to provide tips for discussing the news with children, and not a moment too soon — just last night my tot asked some of the very questions they brought up. Here are some of their suggestions for holding a conversation with your kids.
- With younger tots, under the age of 6, approach the subject in a good guy, bad guy, cops and robbers kind of situation.
- For older tots, over the age of 8, it's reasonable to have a significant conversation about the matter, but be sure to stick to the facts and see what questions they may have on their own.
- Take your cues from your child. If their behavior has changed (they're eating more or less, talking more or less, acting out more or less) approach them about the subject.