This has been quoted on Facebook about how to help young children who encounter scary things in the news:
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world. ~ Fred Rogers
Here’s a link to the whole web page from which the quote came.
This is part of why I don’t own a television:
The way that news is presented on television can be quite confusing for a young child. The same video segment may be shown over and over again through the day, as if each showing was a different event. Someone who has died turns up alive and then dies again and again. Children often become very anxious since they don’t understand much about videotape replays, closeups, and camera angles. Any televised danger seems close to home to them because the tragic scenes are taking place on the TV set in their own living room. Children can’t tell the difference between what’s close and what’s far away, what’s real and what’s pretend, or what’s new and what’s re-run.
It’s not just children who become very anxious. Your consciousness is taking it in. Even though I’ve been an adult for a long time, and I’ve been conditioned about what “reality” is, watching the events of 9-11 really brought it home to me: the way “the news” televises tragedies is traumatizing. So many replays, so much repetition to get all “the facts” right, so much effort to keep people glued to their sets, feeling horrified and helpless, while taking in those images and words over and over again.
Turn off the news. Go for a walk. Pray and take care of yourself and your family. And look for solutions.
One Facebook friend (Ginger Webb, whom I’ve never met but whose fabulous herbal products I buy and recommend) proposed doing five random acts of kindness for each person who died.
I like that. I so wish that our government would enact gun control laws and make treatment for PTSD free and accessible for everyone. We do not need to be as highly armed as we are, and we’re not doing a very good job keeping guns out of the hands of the emotionally disturbed.
It will take time and effort for that to happen, and it may not, judging by the past. This time could be different, though. Please let your voice be heard.
Meanwhile, put some good into the world. You never know how stressed or hurting someone might really be, and how meaningful your unexpected kindness could be.