In today’s world there are many tragic events, from gun violence to natural disasters, to which children are exposed on a regular basis. It is important as we get into the busy summer season that we serve as caring adult role models for Cloverbud participants. In doing so, we provide a safe, supportive environment for them.
The main purpose of this Cloverbud Connections article is to share about how to support healthy interaction with Cloverbuds. Talking with Cloverbud members can be difficult with not knowing what to say or how to be supportive. There is helpful guidance from the National Council on Family Relations (Myers-Wall, 2022) and KidsHealth (Walls, 2022).
Suggestions for supporting Cloverbuds include:
- Help the children feel and know they are safe. Reassure them that you are here to support and care for them.
- Make time to talk and to share about what they are feeling. Let their questions, if they have any, guide the interactions.
- Use various expressive outlets and Cloverbud activities for them to express themselves such as music, art, movement, puppets, and play.
- Cloverbud children may express a desire to help those hurting or experiencing pain. Support them with writing letters of care, gathering donations, or ideas they may have.
- Know that Cloverbud age children may have a wide range of emotions from sadness to empathy. Let them express themselves as needed. It is okay to not to know the answers to all their questions. Listening and being there for them is just as important as what you say.
As a 4-H Cloverbud Volunteer, remember to take care of yourself. Know that your Extension professional is always available for your support.
Myers-Walls, J. A. (2022). Talking with children when the talking gets tough. Coping in the Wake of Shootings, Mass Violence, and Terrorism. National Council on Family Relations. https://www.ncfr.org/resources/resource-collections/coping-wake-shootings-mass-violence-and-terrorism
Walls, M. T. (2022). How to talk to your child about the news. KidsHealth. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/news.html