The importance of helping children to make sense of their world

The importance of helping children to make sense of their world

The past two weeks have seen an escalation of media coverage on the acts of terrorism and violence that occur throughout our world. As the frequency of incidents increase so the media coverage turns to talk of war, often in the search for a sensational headline rather than a considered view on a global political situation. Whatever the reasons behind the media coverage the impact is one of increasing fear and insecurity.

This media coverage serves as a backdrop to our lives, coming to us through a variety of forms and is reaching our children in often unrecognised ways. It permeates the conversations and consciousness of our young people in ways that we probably do not realise.

Here at Sidcot we advocate that children be given the space and time to talk, that they have the opportunity to express their fears and concerns and that as teachers (adults) we join them in making sense of these complex situations.

Advice from The Childmind Institute is useful in these situations “Be available. If your child is upset, just spending time with them may make them feel safer. Children find great comfort in routines, and doing ordinary things together as a family may be the most effective form of healing.”

It is often whilst doing those routine things that the opportunity to talk will emerge, listen to their fears and help them to put things in to perspective. Drawing pictures, creating a positive action to reach out and help are very enabling things for children to do when they feel lost and afraid.

The following weblink is a useful resource: http://www.childmind.org/en/posts/articles/2011-12-27-helping-your-child-cope-deaths-friends


Jackie Bagnall
Director, Centre for Peace and Global Studies

Independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 3 - 18 in Somerset