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Talking to Your Child About a Tragedy

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As parents, our main goal is to protect our children from hurt or tragedy. Unfortunately, this is often unavoidable. When our children enter the school system, we often feel as parents, we no longer have the same capacity to protect them as when they are under our supervision. Here are some tips on comforting your child when tragedy strikes; making both you and the child stressed and concerned for their safety:
  • Unplug from social media and television. Instead, focus on family activities that are fun and keep the focus off the tragedy.
  • Do a check in with yourself so you can manage your feelings of anxiety and stress especially while your child is at school. If needed, call a friend or seek a family member that will listen to your feelings for support. It is important that you model confidence, as this will provide support to your child.
  • Keep the child on their normal routine. This will provide a sense of security and comfort.
  • Answer your child’s questions without giving too much detail. Children are often overwhelmed when they are provided with details that are actually intended for adults.
Most importantly, stay involved with your child and monitor any changes in behavior; especially the first week after an event. Some signs include:
  • Isolation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Giving items away
  • Extreme sadness/Crying
  • Disconnecting from family and/or friends
  • Posting unusual content on social media
If you notice any of these signs, it is imperative to seek help immediately. Feel free to call our crisis line at (800) 300-5615, option 1. Remain positive and remind your children these tragedies will not occur often; but when they do; you are always available to listen.

24/7 Crisis Line

Local (North Central Florida):
(352) 374-5600
option 1
Toll Free:
1 (800) 330-5615