- starting a conversation that invites more talk in the future (sometimes it can take a while for kids to warm up to the idea of talking about something troubling);
- listening more than talking (it’s the best way to find out what your kid thinks);
- answering truthfully without scaring them (keep your answers short and factual — “Yes, people did die” — so they’ll get real information from you without embellishment);
- paying attention to their follow-up questions (if they want more information, they’ll let you know — and if they don’t, don’t feel like you need to tell them more);
- gearing your talks to your child’s age and personality (every kid is different).
But what about now? It’s a few days later, and we’ve all gone back to our everyday lives (except for the unfortunate families and friends of those who were killed, injured, or in that theater that night). Are there any things parents should keep in mind?
Well, the big thing is that those tips listed above for talking to your kids still hold and will so for a while. This story will be in the news for quite some time, especially as more details emerge ...
The unfortunate reality for all of us is that this shooting reminds us of our vulnerability. But we all make the decision to go back to living our lives (even if that is tempered by thinking about the tragedy). You are the best resource for your kid and their rock when they are scared or anxious.