As I write this my heart is heavy. It is very disheartening to me that I now live in a world where I even have to discuss this topic with my children. Unfortunately, the world is not full of nice and loving people. My heart goes out to the loved ones of innocent people whose lives are destroyed by hate and destruction. In light of recent events, I feel that it is necessary to talk to my children to some extent about how to feel and deal with the tragedies of the world.

In our house, we never watch the news as a family. I am actually even afraid to turn on the TV at times because I don’t want my kids to see these awful things. I vividly remember watching the news after dinner every night as a family as a child. Those days are no more. Don’t get me wrong, I do not want my kids to live in a bubble and have no idea what is happening in the world! I do however feel that it is my job to filter and somewhat shelter them from some of the harsh realities of the world.

Children are born with the innate quality to love. Hate is a learned trait that is hard for them to wrap their little heads around. I am at a loss for words when my kids say to me “but why would someone do this horrible thing?” Sometimes, as a parent, I just don’t have all the answers. So how do you talk to your kids about world tragedies, like mass shootings, and give them the appropriate information about these senseless acts of violence?

I try to give my children enough info so that they are knowledgeable about the subject, but not give them every little horrid detail. With the realities that they will most likely hear about it somehow through the internet or social media I want them to hear it from me first.

Here are some resources I found online that can help you navigate how to approach these issues.

PBS Parents

PBS parents has some great resources on this topic. I especially love their article How to Help Kids Feel Safe After Tragedy. They have a great section broken down by age to give you some appropriate guidelines. They have a great tip to listen to the news on the radio instead of the TV so kids can get the info they need without all of the horrible imagery.

The Mayo Clinic

The Mayo Clinic has an article on helping children cope with a tragedy. The premise of the article is to focus on the basics and don’t give them every little tedious detail.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network

They have an amazing series of articles on dealing with all different types of tragedies from school bullying to terrorism. They have multiple charts and PDFs that you can download with lots of useful information too.

The American Association of Pediatrics

The American Association of Pediatrics has a great article on helping children cope and promoting healing.

Unfortunately, the sad truth is that the world is not filled with kind and loving people. Hopefully, these resources will help you talk to your kids about the tragedies of the world. Give your kids some extra loving today and let them know that it will be ok.