Talking to Children about Tragic Events

Thursday, Feb 15, 2018 by Child & Family Development

Many parents and families may be wondering how to talk to their children about horrific events that sometimes happen in our world. Hearing about the recent tragic event in Florida may have left your child with a number of questions or feelings of anxiety. Although many families try to shield their children from media coverage, children of any age can hear about events from peers or others in the community. If you need to have a conversation with your child about such an event, consider the following tips to help guide your discussion.

Ask and validate: Ask your child how they're feeling about a particular event. Taking the time to allow them to get their thoughts out is important. Parents should validate their child's feelings, making statements such as, "It's okay to feel worried or upset." Parents are likely feeling emotional as well, but it is important not to project those feelings or emphasize your own fears during this discussion. Providing reassurance and a sense of calm is of the utmost importance.

Put things in perspective: Help your child understand that there are many more people in the world with good intentions rather than bad. Take notice of the first responders or strangers that helped others in tragic situations. Reassure children that there are many individuals working hard to ensure that violent acts don't occur.

Monitor reactions: Many specialists recommend that after you've had an initial conversation about an event, only talk about the situation when your child expresses additional concerns. Parents should spend extra time monitoring their child's exposure to news coverage and social media documentation. Monitor your child’s sleep, mood and behavior, taking note of any changes.

If you need more information or support, the Child Psychologists at Child and Family Development are happy to help.

Topics: C&FD Psychological Services

follow us


insights is a helpful blog brought to you by Child & Family Development

Child & Family Development is a multi-disciplinary pediatric clinic serving the needs of Charlotte area children and their families.



  • 4012 Park Road, Suite 200
  • Charlotte, NC
  • 704.332.4834
  • 10516 Park Road
  • Charlotte, NC
  • 704.541.9080

latest news

The information contained in this website is intended to provide general educational information and client education on certain topics only and is not intended to offer healthcare/medical advice. This information should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice from a licensed healthcare professional. Child and Family Development is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information or services you obtain through this website. If you have, or suspect you have, a health problem you should never disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical attention because of something you have read on this website. Never rely on information on this website in place of seeking professional medical advice. If you have questions about a medical condition or seek advice, see your healthcare professional immediately.

Links from our website to other websites are provided as a service to help users find appropriate information. Absolutely no responsibility is taken by Child and Family Development or its employees for the accuracy of the information you may receive from any of the referred links. If you have questions about a medical condition or seek medical advice, contact your healthcare professional.