How to talk to kids about tragedy

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The response to tragedy should be measured by age, therapists say (KTRK)

After a horrific event like a terror attack, your children may have questions.

And what's worse, they may themselves feel threatened as they struggle to grasp what has happened.

Tragedies like the terror attacks in Brussels can be hard for someone of any age to process. But such disturbing incidents can be especially hard for children.

Here's how experts recommend talking about similar tragedies to them.

One therapist who has written a book on parenting says if a child is five or younger, they don't need to know anything about the tragedy or be exposed to the media coverage.

At ages six to 11, they can know the most basic of facts but they shouldn't be in front of the television absorbing information that is too mature for them.

Researchers point to studies that found children who had heavier exposure to the September 11th attacks had more difficulty dealing with anxiety.

One New York University psychiatrist says reassurance is one of the most important things a parent can provide to their child.

The message he says is to communicate to them that you're doing everything you can to keep them safe, without giving false reassurances.

Parents should also be mindful of any changes in their children's behavior in the wake of a tragedy.

Related Topics:
healthchildren's healthmental healthterrorismu.s. & worldparenting
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