How To Talk to Your Kids About Tragedy
This morning we focused a lot about the terrible shooting in Orlando that happened over the weekend.
It's hard for adults to discuss this sort of thing, let alone children. They don't know how to process this sort of tragedy, so this morning we shared some tips for parents for talking to kids about big news events like this.
1. It's okay to just shield them from it if they're really young, like 4 or 5. If you think they do need to talk, keep it broad and light and make sure they feel safe.
2. Slightly older kids will have more questions. Experts recommend that you answer them. You don't want them to get all their information from friends or online. But you don't have to give them all the details.
3. Kids of any age shouldn't get wrapped up in the media coverage. Studies after 9/11 found that kids who were exposed to a lot of news coverage about it were more likely to have issues with anxiety.
4. Treat teenagers more like adults. Make them feel safe, but have a real discussion about it if they're old enough.
5. Try to be as calm and levelheaded as you can. Even older kids look to you for cues on how they should feel about stuff.
6. Keep in mind that if you say something while you're angry or place blame on someone, your kids might hear it and think it's how you really feel.
Good luck talking to your kids about this tragedy. Parenting is hard, and this kind of thing can be complicated.