Am I the only one who misses Mr. Rogers?
Perhaps I’m a bit sappy and nostalgic, but it seems at times like these, when the news is so dark and often frightening, it would be especially comforting to hear his calm, reassuring voice again. Fred Roger’s ability to communicate with children and to help them understand and deal with difficult questions was a gift, one he shared with us all. Were you one of those kids he helped through a tough or scary time?
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.
I find this quote particularly comforting right now. Unlike many quotes spread across social media, Mr. Rogers really did say this. In fact, he repeated this story many times during his life. Concerning his mother’s advice to “look for the helpers,” he wrote “the world is full of doctors and nurses, police and firemen, volunteers, neighbors and friends who are ready to jump in to help when things go wrong.”
He’s right. They are always there… if we simply look.
How do you talk to your children about scary things they see in the news? We may try to shield our young children, but they’re little sponges and pick up more than we realize. They also are quite good at reading our feelings and fears. Try to help them feel comfortable asking questions, and be sure we understand what they are really asking (it may not be what we think). Then keep our answers short and simple.
What do you recommend when talking to children?