Ways to Help Your Child Feel Safe and Informed During a Tragedy

Bryan Nixon

Bryan Nixon

As we all try to grapple with the events in Paris this weekend, I want to provide some resources that may be useful if and when difficult conversations arise from our children. While many will be oblivious to what tragedy unfolded, some may wish to discuss it.

These can be very difficult conversations to engage with especially for younger children.

It is important for us as parents and educators to:

  1. Answer questions without providing too much detail
  2. Assure children that we and their parents are doing all we can to keep them safe
  3. Limit media exposure
  4. Be positive and hopeful

Below are a few sites that were circulated by the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools, and offer helpful tips on how to navigate these conversations so your child feels safe, trusting and well-informed:

Talking with Children about Tragic EventsHow to Help Children Feel Safe after a Tragedy | Whitby School
The Dougy Center shared this list of tips to help reassure your child's safety. This article also talks through some basic principles you should keep in mind when having these conversations.

How to Help Kids Feel Safe after Tragedy
PBS Parents shares some coping mechanisms and how to help the entire family return from the tragedy back to normalcy as smoothly as possible.

Helping Children Cope: Tips for Talking about Tragedy
This article, written by the Mayo Clinic, offers support in how to navigate conversations on tragic events.

Talking to Children about Tragedies and Other News Events
Healthy Children breaks down communication tips for all ages. They also share signs to look for when a child may not be coping well with the situation.

Tragic Events
Children are attune to their parent's reactions in times of tragedies. Fred Rogers reminds us that as parents and educators, we should be mindful of our responses to this type of situation.

Helping Your Children Manage Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting
The American Psychological Association shares a few tips to help children manage their distress.

Bryan Nixon

Bryan Nixon

Bryan Nixon is now the Head of School at TASIS England, having previously served the Whitby School community for 5 wonderful years. The 'Life of Bryan' continues to be an adventure in many ways. From Belfast to Bavaria and Cardiff to Connecticut, and now onto London, his learning journey has proved to be a source of wonder and exploration through each opportunity and challenge enjoyed. Bryan shares this journey with his family and the school communities that he serves. He draws inspiration from the multiple perspectives provided by students, parents and colleagues that continue to enrich his learning and expand his horizons.