How to Talk to Children About Gun Violence

Children may have a hard time expressing themselves when faced with tragic events.

Posted: 12/19/2012 10:41 AM EST
How To Talk To Children About Gun Violence

Today we are seeing far too many tragedies unfold, many of them involving children.

Parents and teachers are faced with the challenge of discussing tragic incidents of community violence with children who may be too young to truly understand these complicated, oftentimes horrific, issues.

Here are a few suggestions that may help you have this meaningful discussion.

▪ Give children honest answers and information. Children will usually know, or eventually find out, if you’re “making things up.” It may affect their ability to trust you or your reassurances in the future.

▪ Use words and concepts children can understand. Gear your explanations to the child’s age, language, and developmental level.

▪ Be prepared to repeat information and explanations several times. Some information may be hard for them to accept or understand. Asking the same question over and over may also be a way for a child to ask for reassurance.

For more on children and violence, visit

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(Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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