How To Talk To Children About Uvalde, Texas Tragedy
One of our fellow Texas communities is hurting this morning. The Uvalde, Texas tragedy yesterday took 19 precious children and 2 adults from us. Unthinkable, horrifying, and nightmare are words that come to mind. This tragedy struck at the core of our families which are our kids and schools. 19 children and two teachers were killed after a gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, west of San Antonio. So hard to put thoughts together when something like this happens. And, what do you say or how do you approach it when your kid or kids ask you about what happened? Because this tragedy happened at an elementary school, many kids are going to have questions about it.
HOW TO TALK TO KIDS ABOUT TRAGEDY
According to healthy children dot org, here are tips to talk to kids about tragedy.
•ASK THEM WHAT THEY HAVE HEARD OR KNOW ABOUT THE TRAGEDY?
Before discussing, find out what they know about the news they have heard.
• ASK THEM WHAT QUESTIONS THEY HAVE ABOUT IT?
Older children, teens, and young adults might ask more questions. They may ask for and benefit more from additional information. But no matter what age your child is, it’s best to keep the dialogue straightforward and direct.
• AVOID GRAPHIC DETAILS AND EXPOSURE TO MEDIA
Shelter them from graphic details about the tragedy and from media reports about the incident. Turn off the TV, Radio, or Socials on the subject.
In general, it is best to share basic information with children, not graphic details, or unnecessary details about tragic circumstances. Children and adults alike want to be able to understand enough so they know what’s going on. Graphic information and images should be avoided.
Keep young children away from repetitive graphic images and sounds that may appear on television, radio, social media, computers, etc.
•WHEN TALKING TO CHILDREN UNDER 4 DON'T BE TOO VAGUE
The article states that the best thing is that the child hears the info from a parent, guardian, or caregiver. Don't just SAY something 'bad' happened, don't be too vague.
...doesn’t tell the child enough about what happened. The child may not understand why this is so different from people getting hurt every day and why so much is being said about it. The underlying message for a parent to convey is, "It’s okay if these things bother you. We are here to support each other."
•WHENT TALKING TO GRADE SCHOOL CHILDREN AND TEENS
The article suggests that a parent can something like this.....
"Yes. In [city], [state]"(and here you might need to give some context, depending on whether it’s nearby or far away, for example, ‘That’s a city/state that’s pretty far from/close to here’), there was disaster and many people were hurt. The police and the government are doing their jobs so they can try to make sure that it doesn’t happen again
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and community of Uvalde, Texas.