Talking to Children About Tragedy

By Raymond S. Moore

Especially after September 11, 2001, many, including young people and children are fearful about what is going to happen in the future. Indeed, we know that catastrophes will happen more often as we near Christ's second coming. A firm faith in God, based on the Bible, will help everyone. The more confidence parents have in what God has told us, the more confident our children will be. So how shall we relate to the recent events and possible future events to keep our children as calm as possible? 

First, talk about it simply, but factually. Answer your children's questions the best you can and help them understand that evil came into existence in heaven before the world began. And this world is the battleground of good against evil until Jesus comes to take us home to be with Him where there will be nothing to fear. Memorize the 91st Psalm and claim its promises and other Bible promises, too. 

Second, try not to let them see the scene replayed again and again, as if it were happening over and over. TV news is bad at best and should be carefully monitored or even eliminated. Substitute it with the family reading circle, Bible and nature games and carefully chosen Christian videos. 

Third, give your children lots of love-hugs, prayers beside them at bedtime, happy meal times and extra comfort. Talk about their guardian angel. 

Fourth, concentrate on the good results of the tragedy-the revival of patriotism, the heroism of some of the survivors, the men who phoned their wives before their planes crashed. 

Fifth, regularly involve your children in doing something good for someone else-elderly, sick, handicapped, victims of tragedy, etc. This takes their minds off themselves and helps them think of others. 

Read carefully Christ's prophecies and those of other prophets in such contexts as Matthew 24, Isaiah 53, Daniel and Revelation. If careful Bible study is not familiar to you, get a free Bible course called the Discover Series by writing to DISCOVER, Box 0, Thousand Oaks, CA 91359-5900. 

Finally, keep your home upbeat and cheerful and your family close-knit for the times ahead and look for that better land when all tragedy will be over for eternity.