With terror attacks constantly in the news, wars seeming to spread, and the number of refugees increasing, the world can appear to be a perilous place, especially for children. Children may also be impacted by events closer to home, whether it’s an incident at their school, crime in their city, or the death of a friend or family member.
The American Psychological Association provides some excellent advice on how to talk to kids about what is happening in the news or in their community. The conversation may not be easy, but taking a proactive stance and discussing difficult events in age-appropriate language can help a child feel safer and more secure. As much as adults may try to avoid difficult topics, children know when something sad or scary happens. If adults don’t talk to them about it, children may overestimate what is wrong or misunderstand adults’ silence. So, be the first to bring up the difficult topic. When parents tackle difficult conversations, they let their children know that they are available and supportive.
Here are some tips for talking to children about difficult news:

            Think about what you want to say: It’s OK to practice in your head, to a mirror,            or with another adult. Some advanced planning may make the discussion easier.                  You won’t have to think about it off the top of your head.
          Find a quiet momentPerhaps this is after dinner or while making the next day’s             lunch. Find a time and place where your child can be the center of your attention. 
Find out what they know: For example, there was a shooting at a school or a bomb set off in another country. Ask them “What have you heard about this?” And then listen. Listen. Listen. And listen more.
Share your feelings with your child: It is OK to acknowledge your feelings with your children. They see you are human. They also get a chance to see that even though upset, you can pull yourself together and continue on. Parents hear it often: Be a role model. This applies to emotions, too.
Tell the truth: Lay out the facts at a level they can understand. You do not need to give graphic details.
Help young children understand: For example, you may need to have the conversation about what death means (no longer feel anything, not hungry, thirsty, scared, or hurting; we will never see them again, but can hold their memories in our hearts and heads).
Say, I don’t know: Sometimes the answer to a question is “I don’t know” and that’s OK. For example, if asked “why did the bad people do this,” “I don’t know” fits.
Above all, reassure: At the end of the conversation, reassure your children that you will do everything you know how to do to keep them safe and to watch out for them. Reassure them that you will be available to answer any questions or talk about this topic again in the future. Reassure them that they are loved. Also explain that the U.S. government is working diligently to protect them and, if you are overseas, ex
Talking about and experiencing difficult news and tragedies can be exhausting. Don’t forget to take care of yourself and boost your own personal resilience.