Talking to your kids about a young life taken too soon
It can be tough to cope with Faye Swetlik's untimely death, especially if you have children yourself. It can also be hard to talk to them about the senseless act.
Cayce, S.C. (WOLO) — It can be tough to cope with Faye Swetlik’s untimely death, especially if you have children yourself. It can also be hard to talk to them about the senseless act.
“The impact for this family and community will be permanent. But in time, it’s not something they’re going to get over, but it’s something they’re going to get through,” said Jennifer Wolff, a clinical social worker and certified trauma specialist.
The news of Faye’s death may be hard for people to accept.
“It’s going to invoke feelings in all of us. How do we make sense of senselessness? How could someone do something so horrendous? How could we make meaning of meaninglessness? And we don’t really have the answer to that,” said Wolff.
Faye was only 6-years-old, which can make it hard to talk to your own children about what happened.
“It’s extremely important to determine the child’s interpretation or the meaning of the event first. I’m not a fan of asking them a lot of questions, but be very observant of them and follow their lead,” says Wolff.
Especially if you’re the parent of a child who knew Faye. Wolff suggests giving children a creative outlet where they can use puppets or draw pictures depicting how they feel. They can even write a letter to Faye to talk about what they’re going through.
“You can focus on the tragedy, it’s there, everybody is living this. Or this little girl planted a lot of seeds of love while she was here. So allow those children to express that,” said Wolff. “You’re giving them an outlet, you’re giving them a way to say we’re all going through this and we’re all going to get through it together.”
Wolff said it’s very important to reassure kids of their safety and for you to be their foundation, because together you can honor the young life that was taken too soon.
“That’s honoring her, and focusing more on the celebration of her life rather than the tragedy,” said Wolff.
Wolff added that kids take cues from their parents, so if you need some help digesting what happened there’s no shame in finding someone to talk to.