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How to Talk to Kids About Tragic Events

child-tragedy2122019_640When tragic events like the Las Vegas shooting occur, it can be hard to know what to say to your kids. After all, it doesn’t make sense why someone would do something so horrific. So how can you possibly explain it to your kids?

Many parents’ first instinct might be to avoid the subject and hope their kids don’t hear about it. And while there may be a few kids who don’t catch wind of the incident, most of them will.

Whether their classmates bring it up at school, they stumble across a news story on their digital devices, or they overhear someone talking about it in the store, most kids will learn that something terrible happened.

The conversations you have with your kids—as well as the conversations you avoid—will impact their core beliefs about themselves, other people, and the world in general.

Psychology Today offers tips for talking to kids about tragedies:

  • Don’t allow young children to watch the news.
  • Keep your message simple.
  • Focus on the steps that are being taken to keep people safe.
  • Point out the good things everyday citizens are doing.
  • Empower your kids to become helpers.
  • Use caution when sharing your suspicions of political or religious motives.
  • Choose any words about mental illness carefully.
  • Hold follow-up conversations.

Read the full article “How to Talk to Kids About the Las Vegas Shooting” on the Psychology Today website.


Do you need someone to talk to? Call or email a CHC Care Manager at 650.688.3625 or caremanager@chconline.org to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

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