How to Talk to Your Kids About a Tragedy
My heart has been heavy that we've become "familiar" with headlines like the ones that broke yesterday, after a madman stormed a nightclub in Orlando. This American man, born in New York, pledged loyalty to ISIS, and starting shooting with an assault rifle and glock. The deadliest mass shooting in American history left 50 dead and 53 injured.
If they're really young, like up to 5, it's ok to just not let them see/know what's going on. If they DO need to talk, paint in broad strokes. Make them feel safe.
If slightly older kids are asking questions, don't let them get ALL their info from friends or online. You don't have to give ALL the details.
Regardless of how old they are, don't let them get too wrapped up in media coverage. Studies after 9/11 prove kids who were hyper-exposed were more likely to have anxiety issues.
You need to make them feel safe, but it's ok wo have a real discussion if they're older. Start by asking what they know, then ask follow-up questions.
Even if they're older, kids still look to you for "cues" on how to feel about stuff. If you're super angry or stressed, they will be too. Watch what you say in anger...things said in passionate rage can let kids think that's how you really feel.