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How to talk to your kids about the school shootings
December 14, 2012

How to Talk to Kids and Teens about the School Shootings

If you have children and are wondering what to tell them about the school shooting.

Younger children

The younger the child the less information

Assure them they are safe.

Assure them their school is safe

Schools are among the safest places for children. Although it is frightening, less than one percent of all child homicides occur in schools. Schools are safer than ever before contrary to media coverage.

Encourage them to talk about whatever is on their minds and don't be dismissive

Do not let them watch television


Give them more details.

Talk about school safety precautions and share with them the real statistics about safety in schools.

Listen to what they have to say and don't minimize concerns.

Have an honest dialog, again emphasizing safety of their schools.

Watch tv with them, talk about the media portrayal, and limit the family exposure.

Monitor your kids, especially anxious kids for stress related symptoms due to the trauma of this tragedy.

Keep the dialog open.

Don’t feel like you have to answer all their questions. It’s okay to say we don’t know why this man did this, because it’s true.

What not to do

Don't pressure kids to talk about it

Don't minimize their concerns

Don't ignore signs that they may be experiencing stress

Don't flood your house with images from the media

Don't expose them to your own anxiety

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