Talking to Children about Disasters

Each family will find ways to talk with their children about disasters that will be meaningful to them.  Some will use pictures and other will use words.  We have put together a list of resources that families may find helpful as they support their children during this tragic time.

American Psychiatric Association recommendations include:

  • Create an open and supportive environment where children know they can ask questions.
  • Give honest answers and information. Use words and concepts they can understand.
  • Help children to find ways to express themselves and to know that people are there to help. Remember also that children learn by watching parents and teachers react and listening to their conversations.
  • Don't let children watch too much television with frightening repetitious images.
  • Monitor for physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches or other pains.

Other resources include:

PBS: Parents talking with kids about news

The Fred Rogers Company: Tragic Events in the News

Bereavement and Grief Resources

SAMHSA Coping with Violence and Traumatic Events

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