How Mr. Rogers Can Help You Handle Tragedy with Your Children

Although I’m not a blogger that writes about politics or news reports in general, I just couldn’t step through the obvious tragic event that the world is tuned into the last couple of days. I couldn’t continue my scheduled posts about the holidays and fun things without addressing this.

Paris was harmed. So many people were hurt and killed. It has been televised, broadcasted, shared, discussed, tweeted, and photographed. And rightly so. Our world has become so small thanks to technology. I appreciate technology on so many levels for this.

However, I was shocked to find out that Kenya had experienced a similar attack…in April. Suddenly my feed was showing Kenya and I assumed it happened at the same time, when in fact it had happened months ago. I was ignorant. I did not have a clue. Where had the news been on Kenya? Where was I in April that I did not know this? I don’t watch daily or nightly news, I only read the news from my social media platforms from reputable sources. So why didn’t I know?

I don’t have that answer right now. But I do know that no one on social media was changing their profile pictures to show the flag of Kenya in the spring. So why now? Is it closer to us? Is it more real? Is it more shocking? No. We are in this world together. We need to act like it.

There is trauma all over the world. There are attacks often. And what I have heard many times over from parents now is this “What kind of world have I brought my children into?”

The honest and sad truth is that absolutely nothing is new. Our evils in humanity are different now but they have always existed. What we need to do is see the world for the good for our children. Just as our parents did, and their parents before them. They must have, otherwise we would have never existed ourselves.

I recently attended WE Day in Ottawa, were over 16000 young adults were there, ready to serve. They had already done a local and global act of service in order to receive their ticket. So, you see, we are the majority. WE are bigger than one horrible and evil me.

Many people have used the above quote by Mr. Fred Rogers to help children see the good in the world in times of tragedy. I encourage all parents to visit The Fred Rogers Company website. It has a collection of very useful articles and videos to help you speak to your children about tragedy.

I used to watch Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood all the time as a child. He had a sweet and calm voice and his stories were simple and clear. He exuded love. He was a very special man, well beyond his PBS broadcast. Have a listen to one of his many acceptance speeches available on YouTube. This speech is when he was inducted in the TV Hall of Fame. 

The biggest thing to remember is that children need to speak to you about their feelings. Whether they are angry or sad, confused or indifferent, it is important to share and talk. We need to help them see the good in the world even in times such as this. Because children have not changed. The media around them has.

Just as those 16000 young adults were ready to serve at WE Day, so have we been asked to serve as parents. Whatever it takes, we must help them see there is still good in this world, and that they will be the next generation that may very well change everything for the better.

Wishing you all love and prayers with your family.

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