Monday, June 20, 2016

Parenting Pointers: Explaining Tragedies to Kids

In the wake of the Orlando shooting tragedy, many children may be wondering what has happened, and even tougher to explain, why it happened.

Dr. Carmen Harra, a world renown psychologist who has been in the business for over thirty years, and her daughter, Alexandra Harra, a counselor, share their tips on how to approach mass shootings with your children.


The recent mass shooting in Orlando leaves us, as adults, afraid, worried, and reeling with more questions than ever about our future. But to have to explain such a tragedy in terms that a young child will comprehend is difficult, to say the least. As counselors, here is how we believe this topic should be approached with children:

  • Explain through an analogy. Rather than giving your children a lengthy lecture on the history of terrorism, gun control, and politics, offer them an analogy from their favorite cartoon. 
  • Let them be innocent. Let your children be children while they can. They will have plenty of time to feel the weight of the world later on. 
  • Teach them to be careful. At the end of the day, what these tragedies teach us is that we should always remain alert. Instill in your young one a sense of vigilance that can save others and themselves in the long run.
Children are the future of our world and the our best hope of stopping senseless acts of violence is to foster only love and acceptance in the younger generation. Truly they hold the key to the world.

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