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How to talk to children about tragic events

NEW YORK — Shielding children from what’s going in the world is becoming increasingly difficult, especially with the internet, social media, television, and word of mouth.

Children can get information from a variety of sources, and it is no different for tragic events, such as the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas earlier this week.

Joined by her 13-year-old and 11-year-old sons, psychiatrist Jodi Gold shared advice with PIX11 on how to talk to children about such tragedies.

  • Remain calm
  • Talk to your children before they hear about it somewhere else
  • Don’t overshare: Take cues from your children – don’t give them more information than needed
  • Never lie to them, but be selective with what information you give them
  • Reassure them, depending on age
    • The younger they are, the more you can focus on protecting them. The older they are, the more you can reassure them that it’s an unusual event, but they’re as safe as they can be.
  • Have a discussion