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Talking with Kids about a Tragedy: Tips and Resources for Parents

Talking with Kids about a Tragedy: Tips and Resources for Parents

As we grieve and pray for the victims and families of the Boston Marathon bombings, we are well aware that parents across the country must process yet another tragedy with their children. We hope the information and resources below will be valuable in creating a healthy and open dialogue with your children in response to events that can provoke fear and anxiety.

  1. Spend time talking with your children. Let them know that they are welcome to ask questions and express their concerns and feelings. You should remain open to answering new questions and providing helpful information and support. You might not know all the answers and it is OK to say that. At the same time, don’t push them to talk if they don’t want to. Let them know you are available when they are ready.
  2. Help children feel safe.Talk with children about their concerns over safety and discuss changes that are occurring in the community to promote safety. Encourage your child to voice their concerns to you or to teachers at school.
  3. Limit media exposure. Protect your child from too much media coverage about the attacks, including on the Internet, radio, television, or other technologies (e.g., texting, Facebook, Twitter). Explain to them that media coverage and social media technologies can trigger fears of the attacks happening again and also spread rumors. Let them know they can distract themselves with another activity or that they can talk to you about how they are feeling.

Additional Resources from the The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Talking to Your Kids About the Boston Bombings

After a Crisis, Remember SAFETY

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