It has been a difficult 24 hours for all parents on the Peninsula as we struggle to come to terms with the tragic and senseless death of Luke Batty in Tyabb last night.
There is no doubt that there has been much discussion in playgrounds all over our region today and many children maybe coming home with lots of questions. This afternoon we spoke with Primary School Principal, Dr Angela Kelly to ask for some advice for parents on how to best help their children tonight. Here are some of the key points she suggested:
- it is very important not to hide this topic from your children if they are talking about it, however, you only need to go into as much detail as your child needs.
- if the incident has ‘gone over your child’s head’, then let it go.
- listen to your child’s day and see if it is a topic that has made any impact at all.
- let your child tell you the story – don’t build it for them.
- you respond to them based on what they have told you. If you feel they need understanding about the events, then you help them.
- be clear as a parent what your emotions are for yourself and try not to bring these into the conversation.
- when helping your child, only tell the facts that you know as simply as you can.
- it is important that your child can trust you’ve told the truth, even if you keep it simple.
- if your child asks “why did this happen”, you could answer with “some people’s lives get very confused. Some people do terrible things to people when they are in that confused state and they are unwell in their minds. That’s what has happened here – someone who is very unwell has done something very terrible.”
- often children will be concerned for their own safety. It is vital to reassure your children they are loved and safe.
For further assistance, download a copy of Helping my Children after Trauma – A Guide for Parents by the Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health by clicking here
We would also like to extend our deepest sympathies to all who knew and loved Luke, especially his mother. Our thoughts are also with the Tyabb Cricket Club community, Flinders Christian College (Tyabb Campus) and the Tyabb township. Our hearts go out to your all.