Unpacking Overwhelm: 4 Tips That Can Help Kids Process the News

Available for Interviews:  Nadine Levitt

Nadine Levitt is an education advocate, speaker, and the CEO and founder of WURRLYedu, an educational technology platform, and Inspired Educ8ion, a company whose mission is to investigate how educational programs and initiatives can unleash the limitless potential of students, teachers, and school leaders. Nadine specializes in the social-emotional curriculum (SEL), and she is also the author of the children’s book My Mama Says Inside Me Lives a Village. 

What Nadine Levitt can say in an interview about
Helping Kids to Process the News / Manage Emotions:

    • We often see and hear about a lot of overwhelming news—whether it be the war in the Middle East, mass shootings, social justice issues, examples of cruelty or dehumanization, increased crime, etc.

    • Should we be shielding our kids from the news? Not necessarily. What content is appropriate for your kids is a personal choice, and I fully support that. However, you may choose to share some of the news with your kids. In that case, you may see an upside in the development of empathy and a more sophisticated development of emotional intelligence. To develop empathy, we need to offer opportunities for growth in perspectives.
    • But one thing to be aware of is overwhelm—overwhelm is that helpless feeling we get when other big emotions start to drown out our nervous system. It makes us reactive instead of responsive and completely shuts down our problem-solving ability.
    • But working with the news can help us model how to process those big emotions. Ask kids to think about how certain news makes them feel, what those emotions might be signposting, and how to leverage the messages behind emotions to act in meaningful ways.

Here are 4 tips for talking to kids about potentially overwhelming news:

    1. Be mindful. Be mindful of the gap between what they already know and the news you are about to share. The more significant the gap, the more jarring and potentially overwhelming the news. Try to pre-screen the content and deliver it in a developmentally appropriate way.
    2. Get curious. Ask them how this makes them feel, and remember emotions come in groups, so look beyond the loudest emotions!
    3. Be Reflective. Reflect on what each emotion might be signposting for them. Try to separate the thoughts and patterns (a.k .a, the stories we tell ourselves) from actual data and facts.
    4. Create a plan. Once you have all the messages from the emotions felt, try to create a plan that they could act on that makes them feel empowered, and celebrate how well they just processed their emotions!


Interview: Nadine Levitt

Nadine Levitt is a Swiss-born, German, Kiwi, American thought leader, speaker, and author passionate about education, primarily focusing on child emotional wellness and social and emotional skill development using the Arts and EdTech.

In 2015, she founded the technology company WURRLY, which also makes WURRLYedu—a leading music education solution used in schools across 22 states. Nadine has authored two children´s books for social and emotional learning (Inside Me Lives a Village and Inside Me Lives a Superhero), initially developed as a tool to use with her own kids to help them develop positive self-awareness, self-regulation skills, confidence, empathy, creativity, and self-expression. This quickly grew into a school program, with the development of a supporting curriculum and classroom resources, and toys and other children’s products that foster a healthy relationship with emotions.

As an education thought leader, Nadine Levitt gives keynote speeches worldwide on music education, social and emotional learning, and technology in classrooms.

My Mama Says Inside Me Lives A Village: Nadine Levitt ...          My Mama Says Inside Me Lives A Superhero

Jo Allison
Managing Editor
Director of Public Relations
Success In Media, Inc.

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