From BBC Future
“If a parent’s primary responsibility is to keep their child safe and free from pain – what can they do when circumstances conspire against them?
Whether it’s a death in the family, an injury or illness, or the threat of war, a child’s guardians must not only manage their own feelings, but also negotiate potentially heart-breaking conversations with young minds still struggling to make sense of the world around them. …But the stakes will be so much the higher if the child themself has been directly affected by the vents.
Unfortunately, professional help may not be forthcoming. ‘For many kids, parents are the only people who will offer support following a trauma,’ says Sarah Halligan, a professor of psychology at the University of Bath, in the UK.
It should go without saying that love and understanding must be the foundation of these dialogues. But recent research suggests that the specific contents of these interactions, and the language that is used to frame the events, can also have profound effects on children’s emotional processing.
Besides offering immediate comfort, family chat can shape a child’s memories of what occurred when their minds return to it in the future, and the ways that they will respond to later upsets….”