(ABC)– Violence on television, on social media, perhaps even in conversations on the playground. National tragedies can affect us all. But they can have a particular effect on your kids.
Talking to your kids about violent acts like Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas is never easy. But the American Academy of Pediatrics offers some tips that may help you communicate with your children.
First – be honest. Kids need information just like adults. Start by asking them what they already know, and try to provide simple and direct responses, tailoring to their age is key.
Second — monitor any media exposure. Keep young children away from violent imagery on social media and TV. For teenagers, maintaining an open line of communication may be more appropriate.
Third – let your children know they are safe and that adults are working to protect them. Remind them these events are rare. It’s important to reassure and comfort them during times of crisis.
It’s also a good idea to continue these conversations over a period of time. And remember to leave a door open for your child to come back and discuss it later.