Talking to children about difficult subjects can be tricky for parents at the best of times, let alone in the middle of a devastating event, such as the current pandemic. But having some helpful tools to guide the conversation can make all the difference.
That’s the view of Dr. Abigail Gewirtz, a renowned child psychologist specializing in parenting during times of stress, who will be the featured speaker on February 21 at the Cherie Smith JCC Jewish Book Festival (JBF). This virtual event is co-presented by PJ Library and the JBF.
According to Dr. Abi, as she is fondly known, there are challenging events happening all the time that can affect us, from personal hardships to catastrophic disasters. Helping children understand these frightening and often confusing situations through meaningful conversation is a powerful way to allay their fears as well as parents’ concerns. She also believes that it’s not just what you say, but how you say it. In her new book, “When the World Feels Like a Scary Place – Essential Conversations for Anxious Parents and Worried Kids,” she delves into the ways that these life events can impact children, and offers tips and sample scripts about how to talk about them, tailored for different age groups.
At her upcoming JBF appearance, she will discuss her new book as well as her work around parenting in stressful times. Her field of expertise is especially timely: mental health specialists, educators and parents have noted that many children are exhibiting increased anxiety as COVID-19 continues to unfold.
Don’t miss this illuminating and free presentation:
When: Sunday, February 21, 2021 I 11:30 a.m.
Where: Register here for Zoom details.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with the Jewish Book Festival again, this time to bring Dr. Gewirtz to our community,” says Lissa Weinberger, Jewish Federation’s manager of Jewish education and identity initiatives. “Her wisdom and insightful ideas about how families can have thoughtful talks about uncomfortable topics will be especially valuable as we adapt to these uncertain times."
About Dr. Abigail Gewirtz
Dr. Gewirtz is a child psychologist and leading expert on families under stress. A professor in the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development, she has consulted around the world on parenting in times of stress and promoting children’s resilience. She also draws on her own experiences in active war zones and helping her children through traumatic events, such as 9/11.
For more information about this event and PJ Library programs, click here.