Prude Death Investigation

How to talk to children about tragedies

Local News

In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, parents may wonder how to talk to their children about the tragedy.

Eve Gotham with Youth Services at Rochester Regional says before parents sit down with their children to address this tragic event, they first need to make sure their own emotions are under control.

She says reach out to a supportive person that you can trust. 

“We just need to acknowledge that this does impact us, that there are things that happen in our world that are scary and that’s okay…” Gotham said.

Gotham says to make sure you set aside a good amount of time — this should not be a short conversation with your child. 

“Ask the child what they know about first and let them tell you what they’ve heard and then your job is to correct any misinformation that they may have,” Gotham said. “Just give a factual, detailed kind of account. Also as a parent, try to understand any fears that the child may have.”

She says try avoid saying someone is “bad” or “evil.”

“I have all kinds of feelings behind the facts, but when I’m explaining it, I want to stick to it as much as factual information as I can.”

Gotham also says the amount of details to share should depend on the age of the children. 

Parents are encouraged to reach out to their local school district, faith groups, and pediatricians for additional resources.

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