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How To Talk To Your Kids About School Shootings: Interview with a Teenager

Dr. Alduan Tartt discusses how to talk to your kids about school shootings.

What do you we do when we live in a society where kids have access to news about school shootings on their smart phones via social media?

Should parents even say anything at all?

Does discussing the shooting raise or lower your child's anxiety and sense of safety?

These are all really difficult questions for parents to answer.

Here are seven tips to help you child as well as symptoms to look out for:

1) Monitor Your Own Anxiety- talk about your own emotions with an adult.

2) Find out if your kids know anything first & don’t tell them if they don’t already know (ignorance is bliss).

3) Contact the school, daycare, local mall , etc. to request increased security to keep them safe and show support that you can advocate for their sense of safety.

4) Ask open ended questions to find out what they know and how they feel(“How do you feel about what happened yesterday?”)

5) Listen to their feelings and open up dialogue by asking follow up questions (make them feel very interesting).

6) Validate their feelings (“It’s okay to be anxious about going to school…you’re sense of safety has been alarmed.”) and allow them a safe space to vent.

7) Ask them what they need from you.

Look out for the following symptoms over the next few days:

School refusal, not wanting to go outside or in public

• Stomach aches, headaches

• Trouble sleeping

• Irritability

• Paranoia

Parent Resources:

Someone to talk with live:

Screen yourself or children for a mental health issue-


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