Last year, 3,597 children died by gunfire according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation recently compared a set of similarly large and wealthy nations and found that while the United States has 46% of the child population, it has 97% of all child gun deaths.
Talking to kids about school shootings is important. Kids actually feel less scared when they get to talk about scary things. You can answer their questions and tell them that school shootings are rare.
Our 5 Tips on having this important conversation:
- Be proactive in talking with your kids — Kids absorb a lot of information from their surroundings and may know more than you realize. They are going to hear about it anyway and this ensures you are sharing with them all the information accurately and clearly. Ask them questions like: “What do you know about what happened”, “What questions do you have?”, “What are you afraid of?”
- Be truthful about what happened. Acknowledge fear and worry are normal parts of our lives and can be key in helping to cope with various emotions. Make sure you also provide facts about their safety.
- Take care of yourself as a parent. Make sure to keep your own emotions in check.
- Keep an eye on changes in your child’s behavior. Changes in sleep pattern or appetite can be signs they are scared and impacted by what is happening.
- Keep checking on your kids make sure they know you are willing and available to talk.