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Tips from Blythedale for Talking to Your Kids about the Traumatic Events in Aurora, Colorado

7/20/2012
 
The early morning events in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater are saturating television and social media today, and will likely play a prominent role in the news over the next few days. The story is shocking and Blythedale Children’s Hospital has compiled a few tips to help parents talk to their children about this tragic event.

 

Create an open and supportive environment in which your children can ask questions and express their feelings freely. The news is frightening – you and your children may feel scared, worried or many other feelings. Children look to parents for trust and reassurance.

 

Look at your own reaction to the incident. Children will often take their cues from their parents.

 

Be honest with your children. Children will ask different questions at different ages. Listen carefully to your children and answer their questions in terms that they will understand.

 

Limit your news and media consumption around the story. The repeated images and details of the story may confuse and frighten children.

 

"It’s our job as adults to listen to children and their concerns,” says Melinda Payne, MD, a child psychiatrist at Blythedale Children’s Hospital. By talking with your children and tapping into your community and support networks (religious communities, friends, families and neighbors), she says, "You can create a real, safe community at a time when the world feels unsafe.”

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