After Tragedy, Talking to Your Kids
June 1st, 2022
It is with sadness in our hearts that we felt compelled to address the topic of violence in schools. Hasn’t this gone on for too long? Can’t we end this violent cycle of tragedy? We must not continue to let our children be attacked in what should be the safest space outside of their own home. At Privacy Parent, we may not be able to influence our leaders and lawmakers (yet), but we can use our expertise to try to help our readers get through this dark period. People like you, parents trying to shepherd their kids through the news of horrifying events like the school shooting in Texas.
Here are a few tips to help address this tragic situation with your children.
First, you’ll know better than anyone if your child is ready to discuss this. Trust yourself.
If you’ve decided not to inform your child about the shooting, then be careful about how you get your news when your child is nearby. Don’t leave tablets and phones open to news apps. When the newspaper arrives, keep it out of sight. If you get your news on the radio or TV, keep in mind the shooting will be the top story on all channels.
If you decide your child is mature enough to talk about the violent death of fellow students—that’s a big if—it’s best to be honest and direct and to remind your child that their feelings are valid. Whatever questions they have are OK. Remind them of the safe people they know. The many people they can trust. Remind them they are loved.
For older kids, teens with access to social media, check in with them more often than you otherwise might. Again, remind them that their feelings are valid and questions are OK. Ask them what their friends are saying about it, how they feel, what they’re learning in class and on Tik Tok. Offer your thoughts, but don’t insist yours are right. Make yourself available to talk, but don’t force them into a conversation. Be there for them.
This is another dark moment for our country. It’s important that you shine a light for your kids.