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A Parent’s Guide to… navigating big events with children

BeeZee CEO, Stu King recently shared with us the book Something Bad Happened by Dawn Huebner PhD. Check out his blog about it! We have taken away 5 key things that parents, carers or any trusted adult can do to help children navigate big events, like the pandemic and lockdown we are currently experiencing…


Family problem solving together
Talk it out

It can be easy to bottle it all up, or not know how to talk about things. But it is important to validate the emotions we are all feeling, it makes us all feel better!  Try just starting by naming feelings using simple, clear language.

..or draw it out!

We’re not all talkers! Drawing instead can allow children to express themselves even if they don’t how or exactly what to say to you to explain what they feel.

Facts first!

Listing some of the basic facts we take for granted can help, such as how far away the disaster happened, the chances of them personally getting hurt, reminding them how big the world is, and how many people are working on keeping them safe. This helps to keep things in perspective. Even if the ‘bad thing’ is quite close to home, it is useful advice to talk about the reality. Also drawing attention to the fact that not all information is true or accurate in the news is important in developing a more critical mind for children (and adults alike!).

graffiti saying thank you to the NHS
Positive stories

Inspire children by sharing stories of people doing things for others. The NHS, social care and other essential workers, Captain Tom Moore and others like him are a reminder that smart and caring people are working hard to protect us all, including them.

Take care

Learn with children how to practice ‘mindfulness’: This helps them (and adults!) self-regulate emotions, take time to appreciate the situation and support around us. Giving space and permission for this to happen can help. Highlight the importance of self-care: Understanding what makes us feel good and doing things that keep us healthy and strong is very important.