When unthinkable events happen like what happened in Orlando over the weekend it can be hard to wrap our heads around why it occurred.

We're adults and it's difficult to understand. Now think how difficult it could be for kids to understand.

It's hard talking to kids about things like the Orlando shooting. And with the smaller ones, should you even bring it up at all?

Here are five things to think about:

  1. It's okay to shield them from it all. We're talking four or five years old. Or if you think they need to talk, just go with the quick overview and make sure they feel safe.
  2. If slightly older kids have questions, answer them. They'll get the information from friends or the internet if not. But again, there is no need to go into great detail.
  3. Don't let them get wrapped up in the media coverage, no matter how old they are. Several studies after 9/11 found that kids who were exposed to a lot of news coverage were more likely to have issues with anxiety.
  4. Treat teenagers more like adults. You still want to make sure they feel safe, but it's okay to to have a real discussion about it. The best way is to ask what they know and then ask follow-up questions.
  5. Try to be as calm and levelheaded as you can. Even if they're a little older, your kids still look up to you for cues on how they should feel about these things. So if you're stressed or angry about something, they will be too.

Also keep in mind that if you say something while you're angry or place blame on someone, they might hear it and think it's how you really feel.

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