Talking To Your Kids About Tragedies
Sometimes the images are hard to avoid. The tragedy in Las Vegas has been the top news story for several days. Chances are your kids have probably at least heard about something bad that happened there. But how do you talk to your kids about such an unspeakable event?
Guidance counselors say don’t go too heavy on the details, be honest and be positive. Ask what your child already knows about the topic so you don’t go into more detail than you should. Don’t just focus on the bad things that happened. Make sure and highlight some of the good stories that are happening too. And how do you answer the ‘why did this happen’ question? Be honest and say ‘I don’t know.’
After the events of Las Vegas, my three kids had different reactions. I asked Chase, who is 13 if they had talked about it in school. He said they had. I asked him if he had any questions about what had happened and he said that he didn’t. Our discussion ended on the note that bad people sometimes do really bad things.
My daughters Carly and Cayleigh are 9 and 7 years old. I haven’t really mentioned the shooting to them yet. Although Carly did ask me if a lot of people died recently. I told her that yes, a lot of people died in a shooting. She immediately moved on to something else. Cayleigh hasn’t mentioned the event yet.
The bottom line is to be there for your kids. Don’t bombard them with images and facts that aren’t appropriate. Be there with the truth, and be ready to help them understand that even in the worst of situations, there are always positives to take away.