Karyn Ellis, M.A., L.M.H.C.

How to Discuss School Shootings and Death with your Children

Parents will sometimes try to protect their children from the news of tragedy, death, and why people die or choose to kill. Unfortunately this is a reality that our children today have to face too often. You might be thinking they are too young or won't understand. Maybe you don't know how to bring it up. To avoid your child hiding their feelings or going through prolonged denial, it is important that you be the one to talk to your children directly about these things. Create open communication about these topics or your child could find out misinformation from the media or peers.


If the discussion is about school shootings:

Be aware of your child's feelings. Check in on them and encourage them to speak openly. You might consider counseling if your child starts having nightmares, anxiety or symptoms that look like depression. The worst thing you can do is ignore the situation and not talk about it at home.