Jul 28, 2014

How Do You Talk to Your Kids About Scary News?

Friday's mass shooting in Connecticut and the media coverage of that incident will likely remind parents that sometimes kids are exposed to violent and tragic news.

How Do You Talk to Your Kids About Scary News?


Friday night, many dinner table conversations around the United States will likely be dominated by the .

But what if the ones asking questions about the violence are the people at the table whose feet barely reach the floor, and who will be off at an elementary school of their own come Monday morning?

"I will hopefully pull myself together enough to tell them that I will do everything in my power to keep them safe including talking to my representatives about sensible gun control laws," wrote Minal Mehta on Facebook.

The unthinkable happened and parents are struggling with the concept themselves.

"Someone help me to understand. I grew up in Newtown. Best best friend went to that Kindergarten. When all this makes sense to me then maybe I'll have something useful for my kids," wrote John Bartas on Facebook.

But there may never come a time when something tragic like these killings make sense.

"I am not sure how I am going to explain this to my kids. How can somebody kill little Innocent kids. God please help us we are in need of a miracle now," wrote Ujjwala Thobbi on Facebook.

The world is a complex place, but parents can take measures to reassure kids who have questions about violent or scary events in the news.

Parents should start by finding out what their kids know and ask questions to gauge their feelings about the news,  according to PBS and Parenting Magazine.

Both publications also suggest parents should keep their discussions about scary news simple.

"Give children the information they need to know in a way that makes sense to them," PBS writes on its parenting site. "At times, a few sentences are enough."

Parents should also offer reassurance and use scary news as an experience to teach, PBS and Parenting Magazine report.

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What do you think? If you have young kids, how do you handle the topic of tragic, violent or scary news? Share your strategies in the comments section below.

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