Cornerstone Youth: Talking Tragedy With Your Teen

October 18, 2017

If you have been watching the news or following articles online, it’ll come as no surprise that there are many heartbreaking stories unfolding right now in the world. Your favourite news station and your Facebook feed provide you with a steady stream of unfortunate events that both disturb and discourage us as adults. I wonder what kind of impact these things are having on our students?

Here are some tips when talking with your student about tragedies.

1. BE HONEST

Be honest and empathise with your student. Let them know that the situation is awful, that bad things happen and we don’t always know why. Let them know it’s ok to be frustrated, sad, angry, etc.. Give validation to their emotions. Once we understand the emotions we can then begin to deal with them.

2. GIVE THEM HOPE

Don’t stop at #1 and leave them in despair. Give them hope! The truth is that we serve a God that is greater than our circumstances and greater than the tragedies going on around us. God is painting a much bigger picture and we can’t always see why certain strokes are being placed, but we do know what the end of the picture will look like in part! God wins and good wins. We can trust in God. He’s bigger than our circumstances. Pray with your student and pray for your student.

Remember your teen is learning from your example. We know that parents are the number one influence on a student’s life. The more that you can demonstrate trust in God through circumstances the better equipped your student will be to trust God through their circumstances.

Bonus thought. Sometimes a comforting hug or just sitting in silence with your teen are great ways to process tragedy.

What are some methods of dealing with tragedy that have worked for you?


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