Q. Although we live “down under,” it's amazing what an incredibly strong impact the terrorism incidents have had on our family! After watching the news, our three pre-teens seem to be having difficulty sleeping. How can I help them?
A. Dealing with loss (actual or vicarious) isn't easy for adults. It can be overwhelming for children! They may evidence this by going from being quiet to noisy (or vice versa), or from caring to aggressive, or even appear stoic. They may experience nightmares, may sleep-walk, become easily upset, become frantic when care providers are out of sight, or revert to more infantile behaviors (e.g., thumb sucking, bed wetting). To the extent that you are comfortable dealing with loss and moving through grief recovery, you will be able to role model an effective process for your children.
I have posted an article entitled Grief Recovery Pyramid on the website. It contains suggestions for helping children deal with loss.