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Head of School Blog

Engaging in Difficult Conversations with Children

By October 20, 2023No Comments

I hope this message finds you well, despite the challenging global events surrounding us. I want to reach out and acknowledge the deeply troubling events in the Middle East and express my profound sympathy for all those affected, especially for those families living amidst the turmoil. While I do not want to promote my political views, I do want to focus on what is so near and dear to our hearts, our children.

One of the core tenets of Montessori education is advocating for peace. This philosophy is integrated into our teaching methods, and today, more than ever, we must embrace these principles as we navigate the difficult conversations and emotions that we are faced with because of these events.

While I personally advise against letting very young children view news coverage of such events, or any other tragic occurrences, the decision to expose them to such current events ultimately rests with you. For older children, they receive information in many ways and process information differently, so I recommend initiating conversations with them proactively. It is worth noting that children sense the emotions of the adults around them, often absorbing feelings of fear and anxiety, especially when they do not fully grasp the situation. It is important to be attentive to their feelings and be ready for a conversation if questions arise. I’ve gathered a selection of articles for you, hoping they serve as valuable resources to guide and inform comforting and informative conversations with your children.

Explaining the News to Our Kids (Common Sense Media)

Helping Children Cope with Frightening News (Child Mind Institute)

How to talk to children about difficult news (American Psychological Association)

How to Talk With Kids About Tragedies and Other Traumatic Events in the News (The American Academy of Pediatrics)

I encourage you to explore these articles and use their suggestions in your conversations at home. You are not alone, and if you need support, we are here to help.

Lastly, let’s reflect on Maria Montessori’s foundational belief of instilling peace and respect in the curriculum. It is important to emphasize the good in the world and help our children see the value of constructive dialogue and individual respect when resolving conflict. This approach not only addresses challenges on the playground or in the classroom but also equips them with tools to use as they navigate conflict throughout their lives.

ASM is a wonderful community, and I’m very appreciative of our shared commitment to peace and respect.