JACKSON, Mississippi. If your child was in a car accident with you, or if you were in a car accident, knowing how to talk to your child about what happened can be tough. Yet, it is incredibly important to talk. It can be very difficult for children to process the fear, sadness, and anger alone.
One person who was very good at talking to children was Fred Rogers. With a new documentary coming out about his life and television show, the media is once again looking at why Mr. Rogers was so successful about broaching difficult subjects with children. Part of why he was so successful was that he consulted with leading child psychologists and considered their advice when writing and creating his show.
According to one writer for the Atlantic, what made Mr. Rogers so successful was his ability to consider how anything he said could be misinterpreted by children. Children, especially young children, tend to take things said to them quite literally. If a young child is told that a parent is in heaven, he or she may want to know how he or she could get there or may think he can get there by flying in a plane. Mr. Rogers is most celebrated for respecting the inner life of the children he spoke to every day.
The Atlantic recently published a list of steps Mr. Rogers writers used when writing their scripts. The list can be helpful for parents thinking about how to broach tough subjects with children. So, how can you take some advice from Mr. Rogers when talking about your car accident with children?
For one, try to express yourself as simply and as clearly as possible. Next, try to find ways to express the positive in the situation. For example: we were in a car accident, but we are all safe now and healing.
What were other principles Mr. Rogers adhered to? He believed that children should have safe spaces to cry.
According to the American Psychological Association, parents should also take the time to think about what information is important to convey. They should find a time that is quiet and not share important or emotionally difficult information before the child needs to go to school or be somewhere. Before talking, the parent might want to ask the child what he or she already knows about the situation. Take the time to share your own feelings. It’s okay to tell your child that you are sad or angry. Finally, take the time to tell the truth about the situation. Children are perceptive. Find a simple way to convey the truth, but do so in a reassuring manner.
If you or your child was in a serious accident, don’t be afraid to get help. A counselor or therapist can help children process difficult emotions. Sometimes receiving care after a car accident can be expensive. Fortunately, the law offers protections for car accident victims and their families. Malouf & Malouf are car accident lawyers in Jackson, Mississippi who work closely with victims and families to help them seek justice after a crash. Visit us at https://malouflaw.com/ to learn about how we might be able to help you seek damages for your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

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