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Readers Respond: How to Talk to Kids About Tragedy

Responses: 4

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As parents, it's our responsibility to keep our kids away from images that would upset them , like scary movies. But what happens when the disturbing images are unavoidable, like footage of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan? How do you talk to your young children about a tragic topic in a way that's age-appropriate?

how to talk to kids about tragedy

As we know most kids are not so close to their parents. I a sister of a young brother who is only 9 years was too scared after watching the disaster happened in Japan. He couldn't even sleep that night when the disaster happened as he thought it would happen here too! I sat with him and started the topic of disaster and told him that it wont occur here as we stay away from seas and disaster occuring places. I made him calm and answered his every silly question. Being a kid they have a lot in their mind, its only we have to get free with them and know how they feel.
—Guest nida

Good advise

I think that is good advise but it made my child upset so I went online while he was at school and found better advise when he got home I told him and explained to him what I was trying to say this mourning and he Said he understood me
—Guest Bobby

Give them a sense of the world

We hung a map of the world in my kids' room. When we hear things on the news, we talk about where the people live and look at the map. When she heard about Japan's earthquake, we showed her where it was vs. where we lived. We talked about earthquakes (and the fact that we don't live in an earthquake-prone area, thankfully). We also explained that there were lots of people working to help them in Japan and that our family was going to send money to help them as well. Being calm, offering facts, and answering questions (without too much detail) helps them I think.
—Guest Patsy

Talk to them before others do

I was glad that we talked about the Japan disaster a little with my preschooler before she went to school. We brought it up during evening prayer and answered some of her questions. She knew a little about earthquakes (from Land Before Time movies actually). We told her that the earthquake had shaken houses and caused water to flood towns. Now the people were in need of a lot of help. I was actually surprised that her teacher brought it up in class the next day. She was a little more prepared I think to understand and not get upset at the idea.
—Guest Maura

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