For the past four years, the Thrive Counseling Center has sponsored Thrive Talks, a series offering a wide range of presentations focused on topics of interest to our community. This year is no exception. Our first conversation couldn’t be more timely. In the shadow of the recent Highland Park massacre, the numerous mass shootings across the country, and the hatred being displayed in Charlottesville, it remains for us as adults to explain such horrific events to our children. How can we explain to our children something that we cannot even understand?
September 29 at 7 p.m. in the Veterans Room at Oak Park Public Library, Main Branch (as well as streamed live on the Thrive Facebook page). dr Laura Vecchiola, expert on talking to children about traumatic events, presents, “Feeling Safe in an Uncertain World: How to Talk to Children and Adolescents about Traumatic World Events.”
This talk provides information for parents, carers, educators, and anyone else who wants to learn how best to speak to children and young people about the frightening and traumatic events happening in the world around us.
More than ever, children are exposed to media violence, death and panic. The notion that children are unaware or unaffected by events that do not directly affect them is a myth – children and young people mentally and emotionally process their experiences of school shootings, gun violence, climate change and natural disasters, images of war, and hateful rhetoric. Children at all developmental stages can be affected by these events, and without proper support, they may experience increases in anxiety, depression, heightened alertness, or behavior problems.
In this lecture, participants will learn how to approach these difficult conversation topics based on their child’s developmental level of understanding. Practical tips are given for starting, navigating and ending calls. Participants also learn how to provide comfort to their child and restore a sense of security in daily life. Finally, participants learn to look for signs of trauma or other emotional difficulties that may indicate their children need further support. While these conversations are never easy, by the end of this talk participants should feel better equipped to support their child and be a safe, reassuring presence in the midst of a world where scary things can and do happen.
Join us on September 29 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the main Oak Park Public Library branch or via the live stream on Facebook.
As with all Thrive Talks, there are no fees.
Steve Parker, LMFT, chairs the Thrive Program Development Committee.