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Resources for School Psychologists / Position Papers / How to Talk to Kids About School Shootings

How to Talk to Kids About School Shootings

“School shootings” are two words no parent ever wants to hear in the same sentence. But news of these tragic events is now so familiar, the topic is unavoidable. Unlike other conversations you have with your kids about scary stuff in the news, talks about school shootings are much more emotional, for both you and your kids. Add in the facts that kids as young as 5 are practicing active-shooter drills at school, and that any kid with a phone can get notifications of every mass killing and follow minute-by-minute updates on social media — and it’s even more of a challenge to provide calm.

Focus on helping kids understand the news and information they’re seeing and hearing, while allowing them to express their questions and feelings. Cutting through the noise and chaos provides the stability and security kids need to process what’s going on — and to ultimately feel safe again.

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