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Dear Fearless Parent - Listening to Feelings

February 27, 2018

Dear Fearless Parent,

Did you talk to your kids about the latest school shooting? If you haven't, you should. You must. Surfacing thoughts and feelings about kids killing kids in school is important to mental and family health.

Don't assume your child is not affected.

Be a listener, a witness, a validator of feelings.

Family meetings are about expressing feelings. What often gets in the way of parents letting their kids express feelings is how those feelings trigger parents.

"Whatever you're afraid of, you have to push it out of the way and you have to forge forward and say 'ok, it's going to be fine, even though you're scared shitless. But they're watching you. You have to do it because you don't want them to be afraid." Lisa - Parent Interview (Instagram @Parenting_You)

Parents must be fearless in the face of their child's fears. Fearless parents stay present even when they're triggered.

Set aside time to listen to your child about how he feels about what happened in Parkland, Fl.

"This happened. What's it like for you?"

Keep it simple.

It feels good when someone listens to you. It feels great when parents listen to their kids.

Goal - Talk to your kids about the recent school shooting. Schedule a time to listen to them. Ask them how it's affecting them. Listen well. After they're done, ask them if you can keep talking about it. This is not a one-off, but a conversation about feelings that will link to many other feeling stories

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