Helping kids deal with traumatic events or tragedies

David Palmiter, PhD, ABPP Psychologist & Author, shares advice for parents on how to discuss traumatic events or tragedies with their children
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Helping kids deal with traumatic events or tragedies

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A lot of parents wonder, how do I talk to my kids or explain spines in the buildings. Kids shooting kids in schools, people shooting people in movie theaters. How do I talk to them about it? And what are the ways - we don't even have to talk or behave our rituals. All those things maybe happening but we still have pizza night, or we still go to temple, or we still have our Monday ritual going to breakfast. It almost doesn't matter what the ritual is as long as it's continuous and adaptive. Two that have the most science behind them are family meal and practice of some sort of religion. Though, that just because they are look up the most. Any adaptive ritual have that factor. Islands of stability and a torrential currents of our culture. There's multiple types of rituals that parents can do. I think there's daily ones, weekly ones, seasonal ones and ones for special occasions. Parents maybe doing rituals and not even know it. The night time ritual before going to bed which actually promotes sleep. The weekly ritual of going out for movie, a blockbuster or renting a movie is a ritual. The seasonal one of going to the pumpkin patch or the special occasion one. We go out for dinner when report cards come home good. All these are mighty shields against life's slings and arrows for the family.

David Palmiter, PhD, ABPP Psychologist & Author, shares advice for parents on how to discuss traumatic events or tragedies with their children

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David Palmiter, PhD, ABPP

Psychologist & Author

Dr. David Palmiter is a professor of Psychology and Counseling at Marywood University. He is a practicing and board-certified clinical psychologist, a past president of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association, the author of over three dozen publications, including two books on promoting resilience in youth, a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (true of < 6% of psychologists), the American Academy of Clinical Psychology and the Pennsylvania Psychological Association in youth. He has also given hundreds of workshops on family issues for organizations such as The Navy SEAL Foundation, The Master Therapist Series at the University of Connecticut, The American Psychological Association and the McGraw-Hill Financial Group and completed hundreds of media projects for outlets such as CNN, The New York Times, US News and World Report and the Wall Street Journal. David is also a dad of three (two studying at Cornell University and one still in high school) and husband of 27 years to Dr. Lia Richards-Palmiter. A central aspect of his professional mission is to put air under the wings of parents as they try to raise happy and resilient children and teens.

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