Tips for talking to your children about violence

Posted by Sheryl Williams on 6/2/2020

When children have questions about violence, many have questions about how to help children cope with the tradegy. How much information children should be exposed to, or what they say to their children about their safety. 

1, First find out what your child knows about the event. Even if you haven't discussed it together, they may have heard it on the news, on social media or other sources. Their perception may be very different from reality. 

2. Assure your children that it is ok to talk about these events no matter how scary or sad they are. It's ok to talk about your feelings. 

3. Encourage questions. Question and answer  exchanges provides understanding for your child and support.It is important to build empathy and teach perspective - taking. You might ask questions about how do they think these people are feeling? Why do you think these people are angry?What do you do or feel when you think something is unfair?

4. Reassure your child that they are safe.

5. Be honest but also be mindful of their age. Children will be more vocal in asking questions especially in middle school. HIgh school will offer opinions.  

6. Remember that it is ok to admit that you do not have all of the answers. It is ok to admit how you feel and that you are worried. It is important to reassure them that you are there for them to support them and take care of them.

7. Be patient: Let them know that you are there to talk to them when they are ready to talk about it or need to talk about it.