50 Things You Should Try For Hotter Sex

How to Talk to Your Child About the Newtown School Shooting


How to Talk to Your Child About the Newtown School Shooting
10 Things to consider when talking to your children about the school shooting.

2.  Understand that children process differently then adults.  They may or may not have questions initially.  They may bring up the topic again when you don't expect it, and may process their thoughts and feelings in stages.  It may also be helpful to check in with them and see if they have more thoughts or if kids are talking about it at school.  Ask them what they are hearing, what kids are saying, and what they think about it.  Stay attuned to their emotional state and let them know they can continue to ask questions or share their thoughts and feelings as they come up.  

3.  Assess the impact on your child.  If it is something that you sense continues to be on their mind, let them know that you notice that.  Talk to them about it and let them know they can share their thoughts and questions as they come up, any time.  Don't buy into the theory that if you don't talk about it, it won't affect them and if you do talk about it you will plant fears in their minds.  Children are looking to you for cues about what is and isn't okay to discuss.  If you bring it up and they clearly don't have any worries or concerns, then you will be able to tell.  Children hear and see way more then parents tend to realize and it's better that you have the conversations with them rather then them seeking information elsewhere.

More from YourTango: Guilt Free Parenting: 8 ways to avoid the guilt trap

4.  If you don't know the answer to their question(s), be honest.  If it's something you can find out - let them know you will find out and get back to them.  

5.  Avoid saying things such as, "you shouldn't be thinking about this" or "don't worry about these kinds of things".  Children hear that as your unwillingness to discuss it with them and will feel that their feelings are being discounted.  Parents tend to minimize things that make them uncomfortable, but that ultimately creates a disconnection with your child.

6. Find a way as a family to turn the tragedy into a way of giving and caring.  Do a fundraiser to contribute to the non-profits that are providing support to the families affected by this, write letters or send cards.  There are many ways to help you and your children turn a tragedy into a lesson on compassion and caring for the larger community.

7.  Seek professional help if your child begins to exhibit anxiety, which can be manifested in nightmares or difficulty going to sleep, a change in appetite, or excessive fears.  Professionals who work with children are trained in helping children and coaching parents to help their child work through their anxiety.

More from YourTango: What If The Teacher Is The Bully?

8.  Know what your schools safety plan is.  If your child is anxious about going to school let them know what their schools safety plan is and ask them what else would help them to feel safe.  Children can often tell you what they need.

Share this with someone you love (or even like a lot)!

Let's make it
FB official
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Leslie Petruk

Marriage and Family Therapist

Leslie Petruk is a Child & Family Therapist

Location: Charlotte, NC
Credentials: BCC, LPC, MA, NCC
Other Articles/News by Leslie Petruk:

Living With Purpose Amidst The Chaos


Do you ever have those times when you have been on the go non-stop trying to stay on top of all your responsibilities and get all the necessary things on your "to do" list accomplished —and then it hits you like a ton of bricks. You don't have one more ounce of energy to keep going. All you want to do is crawl in bed and pull the cover ... Read more

What The Country Can Learn From the Connecticut School Shooting


Our nation as a whole tends to stigmatize and minimize the reality and the extent of the impact of mental health issues on our country.  Mental health is always on the top of the list when budgets are slashed on local, state, and national levels.  Insurance companies are making excessive profits at the expense of families ability to afford ... Read more

Guilt Free Parenting: 8 ways to avoid the guilt trap


We've all experienced it...the dreaded parenting guilt.  You blame yourself whenever you see your child fail or if they are unhappy or struggling.  You beat yourself up after you lose your cool when your child misbehaves, you wonder how you have failed your child when they come home with a bad test grade, and you are sure iti is your fault that ... Read more

See More

Recent Expert Posts

Emotional Vampires: Skills for Dealing with the Narcissist

Expert, Margaret Jacobson shares insights gained from Albert Bernstein's, book Emotional Vampires


One-liners Guaranteed to Turn Up the Heat

Want some off the hook sex tonight? Use words as foreplay!

Make A Move

Forgiveness : The Most Important "F-Word".

Forgive so that the past no longer holds you back. It is time to move forward.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

How to find the right pro for you
10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

YourTango Experts can help your business go from good to great.

10 Steps To Improve Your Coaching Business

Take your coaching business from mediocre to great in no time…

Frequently Asked Questions About YourTango Experts

Thinking of joining? Here's all the facts you need to know to make the most of your membership.

Getting Your Guy To Join You In A Therapy Or Coaching Session

So how can your get your strong, self-reliant, superman to talk to an Expert with you?

Therapist/Counselors: Who We Are & What We Do

What exactly does a therapist/counselor do and can they really help?

See more resources>