Children may ask heartbreaking questions that seem impossible to answer, but there are honest, age-appropriate ways to respond. Print out these ideas for parents to use as they handle difficult questions from their children. Each parent will have to decide how much information to share, and how to adjust their answers based on children’s ages.

Yeah, I know you didn't ask. Yet you continue to flip to this page to read this ridiculous op-ed month and after month. It’s your own fault. You have only yourself to blame. 

And no… this is not an expert in the field of psychology throwing these half-baked ideas at you for no good reason. This is just a normal (or slightly abnormal), everyday guy throwing half-baked ideas at you for a good reason. So, just enjoy and take them for what they are. Besides, you pay for what you get… and this newspaper is free

In its 11 seasons on air, I’m sure many or most of you have caught an episode of TV’s Shark Tank. Entrepreneurs pitch their business idea to the “Sharks” – a panel of “self-made, filthy-rich investors” – seeking a Shark’s investment in exchange for equity in their venture.

The entrepreneurs have given everything they have to this idea. Many quit their jobs, have taken out loans, invested their life-savings; they’ve given everything because they believe their idea is something worth it - but without an investor to help them grow their visibility, sales, or marketing – most can’t continue. Their future hangs upon their moment in “the Tank.”

Bags packed, check. Boarding pass, check. Driver’s license, check. Carry-on ready, check. Leave hours before the flight in case there is traffic, road construction, or long lines through security, check. But what if that last one was no longer a factor?  What if you could fly right out of Tuscaloosa, eliminating those factors affecting the commute to Birmingham or Atlanta? Takeoff TCL is trying to make that happen. 

There are ways for parents to create a small sense of home, even when moving frequently from place to place without all of their belongings. Parents without a permanent place to stay face a number of challenges in giving their children a consistent sense of home for many reasons, but home is much more than a physical space—it’s a feeling of love, security, and connectedness. This feeling of home can move with you wherever families go together. Even things that seem simple, such as having the same pillowcase to sleep on each night, or hanging the same air freshener in the room, can make a big difference.

After a traumatic event, it’s normal for children to show changes in behavior. Keep an eye on children to find out what kind of help or reassurance they need.

I was recently challenged by my Sunday school teacher to think more deeply about my true purpose in life. You might think that such a search would typically be done by a teenager or young adult – not a 50-something grandfather who spends his working days helping teenagers find their purpose. But something my Sunday school teacher said struck a nerve and I came to a realization: What I had been telling others and myself, and how I have lived, have been in contradiction.

You can reassure children without any words at all. Hugs help, and another way of holding each other close is simply reminding your child repeatedly that your family is safe and together. Try these ideas, too. 

How you support children after community violence depends a lot on their age. Children of different ages will have different needs, and a wide range of reactions is normal.

Build language skills as you create your own fun ways to welcome each day. Here's how...

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Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

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