When and how to speak with your children about tragedies - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

When and how to speak with your children about tragedies

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Wednesday night The Peace United Church opened their doors for a vigil in light of the Las Vegas shooting. 


Members of the church called out each victim's name and those in attendance lit a candle to represent each one. 
The church was filled with quiet prayer, songs, and bell ringing.


It was a time for reflection and discussion which prompted another question that is often overlooked, how should parents discuss tragedies with their children? When is the best time? and How in depth should one go?


It's not a discussion you want to have with your children but it's an important one says Therapist at Arrowhead Psychological Clinic, Emily Stadstad.

"Modeling these conversations and how to start these conversations is going to be beneficial to your child because they're going to pick up that it's okay to talk about hard things with my parents," said Stadstad.

Stadstad says when explaining tragedy to children it's best if parents sit down first and come up with a plan.

"Practicing the conversation beforehand and writing down what you want to say to your child," said Stadstad.

Meanwhile, Angela sharp, a mother of two says she's not ready to talk to her children about certain events happening in the world.

"I'm certainly very, very unsure about how I'm going to approach that when it does come," said Sharp.

Her children are three and seven, Sharp says she wants to keep their innocence a bit longer.

"I really don't want them exposed to all that is going on in the world," said Sharp.

Stadstad says there's no right or wrong way to talk to your children but age difference can separate how in depth you should go.

"Elementary age, giving them basic details and asking them what they have heard about what happened," said Stadstad.

Meanwhile, middle and high schoolers can get a detailed summary of what happened. 

Ultimately, Stadstad says it's the parents choice and open communication with your child right away could lead to a better future.

"In the long run, it shows them that even in future relationships they can have these hard conversations," said Stadstad.

Experts also say reading books that help guide parents through tough talks with their children - can also be beneficial.
 

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