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How To Talk To Your Kids About The Connecticut School Shooting

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What do you say when your child asks about yesterday’s events in Connecticut?

The director of the Yale Parenting Center said there are two main principles to keep in mind: comfort and information. People should be ready to respond honestly to their children’s question, but at the level they are asked and with the minimum of detail necessary. If your child has managed to remain oblivious to this horror and has not brought it up, then you should not either.

But if your child has heard, wants to know what happened, or is worried something like this is going to happen at his or her school respond honestly but cryptically. Then you can comfort your children by saying their school is safe, and that you’re confident their school is one of the safest places they can be. Let’s say your child follows up with, ‘But how do you know? Reply by saying ‘because nothing like this ever happened at your school or at mommy or daddy’s school.’

A touch or a hug can convey comfort more powerfully than words. But you don’t want to reassure out of proportion to your usual behavior your kids can pick up when you’re acting oddly. These are just a few suggestions that may help you and your kids or grand kis through this very terrible situation.

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