How to Talk With Your Children When Bad Things Happen

Bad things sometimes do happen. Like bad storms, sometimes bad things happen.

As human beings we have free will and that means we can make our own choices. Sometimes we make good choices and sometimes we make bad choices. Sometimes, some people make horrible choices that affect us all.

It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to cry. Give each other the permission to do this. Hold your children. Give them the time they need to talk about their feelings. That means sometimes waiting. Children don’t have all the words we have and they don’t have the frame of reference we have from decades of experience to help us put life in a bigger context. They may not know how to ask the right questions. They may not even know they have questions. So they will need you to be honest with them about what happened because chances are, they have heard a lot more than you are aware of.

Tell them, yes, there are bad people in the world. Yes, bad things happen, but we are safe here and now. Spend time with them. One of the best things you can do is create something beautiful and meaningful with your child.

Write a note to a friend and tell them what you like about them or share a funny memory of the last time they made you laugh.

Paint a picture together and give it to a grandparent, aunt, or uncle.

Bake a cake together and deliver it to a neighbor.

Or plant a garden together so that your children can watch something beautiful bloom that they helped create with their own hands. Tell them all the ways that life is a lot like this little garden.

Life is full of duality: stormy days and sunny days, good and bad, love and hate, beauty and ugliness, darkness and light.

Our purpose in life is to continually add light and good and love and beauty to our side of the scale.

Together we address evil and hate and ugliness with good and love and beauty.

That is why we are here.

Make sure your children know this and know when they need more help. Sometimes we all need to talk to a professional and children are no different. If you need help finding someone, please ask friends, family, or your school if they know a good therapist. There are many out there and this is exactly what we are here for.

Yes, this world can often be a scary place. But we cannot live in fear. If we live in fear, then evil wins. Don’t be afraid. Hold your head high and spread seeds of love everywhere you go. You may not get to see all of the seeds bloom, but they will.

Focus on why you are here.

Hold on to why you are here. We are here to make sure love and hope always win. The world needs us.

The world needs you.