Talking to your kids about a school shooting can be a difficult and sensitive topic to approach. Here are some suggestions on how to have this conversation:
- Initiate the conversation: It’s important to be proactive and bring up the topic yourself. By doing so, you can control the narrative and provide your child with accurate information.
- Use age-appropriate language: Be mindful of your child’s age and use language that is appropriate for their level of understanding. Avoid using graphic or violent language that can be traumatizing.
- Reassure their safety: Let your child know that school shootings are rare, and that schools have security measures in place to ensure their safety. Let them know that you and other adults are working to keep them safe.
- Listen to their concerns: Encourage your child to ask questions and express their concerns. Listen attentively and offer reassurance and comfort.
- Encourage action: Discuss ways your child can take action to prevent school violence, such as speaking up if they see something concerning or reporting it to a teacher or school counselor. You could also leave them in a prayer. Ask God to help the families of those who died and pray for healing for those who survived.
- Seek professional help if needed: If your child is having difficulty coping with the news of a school shooting or is experiencing anxiety or fear, seek professional help from a mental health provider.
Remember that every child is unique, and there is no one “right” way to talk to your child about a school shooting. The most important thing is to be supportive, reassuring, and available to listen and answer any questions they may have.