Talking With Kids About Tragedy

express care

| May 14, 2019

Lets do This

You don't have to look far to see scary or tragic events happening all over the world.  And with today's constant stream of information via the news and social media, these events can seem even closer to home, regardless of their actual geographic location.  

It can be difficult to talk with young people about tragic events.  Knowing how much to share, if anything, can be a fine line to walk...particularly with younger children, who may have questions that you aren't sure how to answer.  

USA Today spoke with psychotherapist Fran Sherman following the school shooting in Parkland, FL last year: "Talking honestly and openly, considering a child's age and emotional needs and not adding unnecessary dread and fear, is critically important."

Stay Inspired

This USA Today article shared a variety of tips on talking about tragedy from its interview with Ms. Sherman, including: 

  • Never lie to children.
  • Always validate a child's fears.
  • Encourage kids to report possible danger.
  • Be kind -- "It sounds simple, but teaching kindness in a scary world is important."

The article also provides information specific to various age-levels: preschool, elementary-aged and middle and high school.

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