Dr. Monica Holliday discusses how to talk about the violence in the world with our kids

Episode 19

There are a few things that are tough to talk about with our kids.  One of the toughest, I think, is talking about the violent things that happen in the world…

My guest today on the podcast is Dr. Monica Holliday Sherman.  Monica is a psychotherapist in private practice in Chicago, and she completed her doctorate in clinical psychology at The Adler School of Professional Psychology, with a concentration in childhood and adolescence.

She is a Certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator, and she regularly facilitates parenting classes in the Chicago community. You can find her on Psychology Today here.  

She is also my friend, and someone I trust to speak to this topic from a very thoughtful, experienced place…

As tough as this conversation is, it is important for parents to be talking to their kids about the state of the world. AND, as a community of parents, it is equally as important to get support from each other about how to best support our kids.

My hope is that this show does just that.

You can find Monica at www.windycitypsychology.com.

Resources mentioned in the interview:

Video of father reassuring his young son that France is their home.
Purple Wagon – “A site for people interested in parents and children, and their explorations and discussions around war, terrorism and peacemaking.” Loads of resources for parents here.
Helping Children Feel Safe in an Unsafe World by Eileen Kennedy-Moore, PhD

Other resources:

Talking With Children About Disaster also by Eileen Kennedy-Moore, PhD
Talking with Children About Tragic News Stories by Ariadne Brill of Positive Parenting Connection
Terrorism and children:Tough Conversations that Matter by Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD or Roots of Action
Explaining Terror to Kids is a NY Times article that covers a French newspaper for kids and how they are engaging in real conversations with kids about the attacks

And more suggestions from Monica:

Books are my go-to when I’m wanting to extend any of these “big” topics into ongoing conversations with my kids. Here are a few to read WITH your kids, relevant to what’s going on in the world today:

Finding heroes amidst terrorism.

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai (there is also a Young Reader’s edition)

Multicultural competency.

The Cow of No Color: Riddle Stories and Justice Tales from around the WorldNina Jaffee

Explaining refugees. 

Sometimes it helps to look to history for examples — one of the most written about examples of children fleeing war zones is the Operation Pied Piper of 1939, when children were evacuated from London during WWII. The beloved Paddington character is even based upon these events. 

The Sky Is FallingKit Pearson
Visitors from London, Kitty Barne (out of print)
Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe and Bedknobs and Broomsticks are both storylines based on children having to evacuate. 
–If your kids are American Girl fans, the book Happy Birthday, Molly!  incorporates a story of a British refugee coming to live with the family after being traumatized by living through bombing raids.  

Please feel free to leave a comment with any thoughts or feedback on this discussion or any of the other podcasts!

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