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Talking to your Children about Challenging Times

Recent events may have brought up some new fears, emotions, and questions. Below you can find a list of ways to talk to your children about challenging times. You can find these and other tips from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) and the Children’s Hospital of Colorado. These websites also give you the option to filter through age groups and trauma types for further resources.

BE AVAILABLE: Being there, both physically and mentally, can be an easy way to reassure your children.

BE OPEN AND PATIENT: Don’t be afraid to start a conversion, ask how they’re feeling, and if they have any questions. These topics can be difficult, so be calm and patient with them and with yourself. Remember, that any fears and emotions are valid!

PROVIDE ACCURATE INFORMATION: Not sure how to answer a question about a certain event or topic? Be truthful with your children and use this time to research and learn together. 

BE PRODUCTIVE: Make a plan on what your family will do if an event should ever arise, talk a walk, or practice breathing exercises! Find a way that best helps your family to release stress and frustration. 

LIMIT MEDIA EXPOSURE: Yes, it is good to be informed, but as a parent, we must ultimately decide what is best for our family. This is especially true for younger kids and the fact that crises can be extremely upsetting. 

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