Talking to your kids about Sandy Hook

A colleague, Sue Goetz, LCSW, shared the following with me:

After the horrific events at Sandy Hook Elementary School, we cling to our kids and want to say things that will be as reassuring as possible.  Yet we often struggle for just the right things to say.  I want to pass along a link to a therapist/author Brene Brown’s blog entry as she has so thoughtfully compiled links and resources for how to talk to our children about today’s events.  Please check it out, tailor it as needed for the ages of your children.

I’d also like to share the thoughts of Dr. Melissa Arca, a pediatrician, parent, columnist and blogger. in Sacramento:

Parents and media are asking: how do we talk to our children about this tragic news from Connecticut? There’s no easy answer, nor one right way…but here are my thoughts and I’m struggling too, wondering if my 7 yo has already heard about it at school.

1. Keep it simple and honest.

2. Turn off the TV.

3. Acknowledge your sadness, but keep your own fear in check. Kids are incredibly intuitive.

4. Say a prayer together for the innocent lives lost.

5. Remind them of all the goodness in the world and that they are safe.

6. Hug them and let them ask questions and express their feelings.

7. For kids younger than 5, there’s no need to burden them with this news. They won’t understand. How can they? We hardly can.And tonight after you’ve tucked them safely into bed, go ahead and be mad/sad/shocked…talk with your husband/wife/partner/best friend and let it all out.


2 Responses to Talking to your kids about Sandy Hook
  1. elizabeth
    December 15, 2012 | 4:34 pm

    Good advice…..The parents really have to try to keep it under control in front of their children. Also keep the children busy with fun Christmas activities….

  2. Sue
    December 17, 2012 | 4:40 am

    Thanks so much for sharing these resources

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