By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A local child psychologist says that while recent events such as the Oklahoma tornado, the Boston Marathon bombings, or the Sandy Hook school shootings have no direct local impact, that doesn’t mean your kids aren’t concerned.
Psychologist Dr. Sue Cornbluth, a Temple University professor, say the unexpected tragedy in central Oklahoma — one of the worst tornados the country has seen — is difficult to sift, even for adults.
So, how do you frame these kind of events to youngsters?
“Tell them that everybody is doing everything they can to make sure that we are living in a safe world,” she advises.
Dr. Cornbluth (right) says that while helping your children sort through their emotions, make sure you monitor their TV and other media usage and shield them from viewing graphic images of serious injuries and property damage.
“There is no reason a child from three to eight years old needs to see graphic pictures,” she tells KYW Newsradio.
And, she reminds parents, children may become more anxious about the unknown as bedtime approaches.
“Nighttime is when a lot of the stress comes up — before they go to bed.”
Cornbluth says young children don’t verbalize their feelings, but telltale signs are usually in physical symptoms, like a sore tummy.
She says we also should avoid adult conversations about tragedies in front of children.