Talking to Kids about Tragic News Events




Today's 24/7 media environment means that children are often exposed and bombarded by disturbing sights and sounds of tragic events. When horrific events like the Boston Marathon bombings and the recent Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting appear on the news, it can be hard on adults. But, it can be even more frightening and confusing for children and teens. We've rounded up resources for talking to your kids about tragedy (or when not to) in the hopes that they will help your families.

Here is a list of great resources on how to talk to kids about tragic news stories.

Parents.com - Talking to Kids About Tragic News Stories. Watching the news can be scary for kids, but you can help them put current events in perspective.

Mental Health America - Helping Children Cope with Tragedy Related Anxiety. Each child responds differently to tragedy, depending on his or her understanding and maturity. Quick tips for parents to reassure their children and how to deal with the effects of tragic events on specific age-groups: pre-school, grade school, and teens.

Psychology Today - How to Talk with Your Child About the Tragedy in Boston. How to help kids feel safe in the face of another horrific tragedy.

Common Sense Media - For kids who are old enough to talk about what they heard or saw, Common Sense Media has some Smart Advice About How to Talk to Kids About Tragedy on the news. This is especially important for younger kids, who may be worried that they are in danger.

PBS.ORG - For younger kids, PBS offers Strategies for Talking to Children About the News that are extremely helpful. A lot of it comes down to listening carefully and offering reassurance.

National Association of School Psychology - Great reminders on tangible Things that Schools and Parents Can Do for Kids in the Wake of Disasers, not just now but over the course of time.

If you've found some great resources to help other parents, please list them below!

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