How to Discuss Connecticut School Shooting with Children

27 people, 20 of them children, are reported dead in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, according to Newtown Patch. How are you talking about the tragedy with your kids?

The news of the elementary school shooting Friday in Newtown, CT, is difficult enough to talk about with adults. But what can you say to children, particularly when so many of the victims were students?

Newtown Patch in Connecticut is posting live updates about the shootings, took the lives of 27, 20 of which were children. The lone shooter, 20, is also dead.

The incident will raise questions about how future such massacres can be prevented. It will also require parents everywhere to figure out how to discuss the violence with their children, many of whom will be returning to their schools next week.

Parenting.com offers advice for discussing tragic incidents with children. Among the suggestions:

  • Don't bring frightening issues up with children under 7, but be prepared to discuss them if your child asks.
  • Reassure your small children that they are safe. Even though you know you can't guarantee it, admitting ambiguity won't be helpful.
  • Ask questions to make sure you understand how your children are feeling, and assure them their feelings are OK.

The New York Times parenting blog offers a dialogue and a video about discussing violent and scary incidents with your kids.

For more

  • BLOG: Investing in Innocence

[Have you discussed the shooting with your children? How did you go about it?]

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Nate Stemen (Editor) December 17, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Have you discussed the shooting with your children? How did you go about it?
hbibb December 17, 2012 at 09:44 PM
My daughter is 3 1/2, and her school sent home a letter with her saying how I should explain this to her. Yet won't lock the doors of the school so the only access is through the front office. My daughter isn't going to understand, at her age, the enormity of what happened, nor should she have to. I rather her learn to mind her elders so Santa will bring her what she wants for Christmas.


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