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Talking to kids about tragedy

by |  March 19th, 2018

Terrorism, school shootings, bombs. There have been so many recent tragedies, unfortunately parents have had ample opportunity to tackle this conversation topic. But, for Austin parents now this is suddenly real…

So, how do we reassure our kids and make them feel safe playing outside, walking on the sidewalk, or picking up a package on our front door?

The first step starts with setting a good example. We need to continue to lead our lives, albeit with a more watchful eye.

The next step is talking with our kids. We all wish we could keep this story under wraps or simply live in denial, but we cannot. Our kids will hear about it. We need to be honest and allow our kids to process these events. We need to explain what happened on a level that is age appropriate. We need to ask our children if they have questions and answer them in the most sincere, but reassuring way we can. Let them know they are safe and parents, neighbors, teachers, and police are there to protect them.

Finally, we need to turn off or limit our kids access to screens. There is no need for them to hear the 24/7 news cycle or see images that may be scary for them.

I hope these tips are helpful. But my real hope is that we can stop needing to discuss how to manage talking to kids about tragedy.

|, Current Events


Dr. Ari Brown is a pediatrician and a mom. Dr. Brown is Board Certified and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She has been in private practice for over 20 years. Her passion to advocate for children and educate families extends beyond the office setting. She is the co-author the bestselling "411" parenting book series including Expecting 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for your Pregnancy, Baby 411, and Toddler 411. Dr. Brown has received several professional awards including the Ralph Feigin, MD Award for Professional Excellence, the prestigious Profiles in Power Award by the Austin Business Journal for her service to the community, Austin's Favorite Pediatrician by Austin Family Magazine, and Texas Monthly Magazine's Super Doctor.

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