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KXL 101: Talking to your kids about terrorism

With Steve and Rebecca on KXL 101.

Of course, it is something we never imagined we’d have to do!

Yet, the same strategies can apply to all the scary things that happen in life.

Mr. Fred Rogers said it best – and this is a great place to start with any aged child:

“Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

1. Emphasize the GOOD. Help children recognize who the helpers and the heroes are.

2. REDUCE their exposure to the bad. Do not allow young children to see images of mass shootings or disasters. Young children under the age of 9 years, can not make the distinction between what is real and what isn’t in media images. They also do not recognize the repeat-loop of those media images.

They may hear about it at school but reducing exposure at home means reducing fear and anxiety.

With older children, sit together and watch a limited amount of news coverage and then be ready to answer questions. If your child is sensitive, then skip watching anything visual!

3. Save adult discussions about these events for when children are not with you.

4. Answer any questions that may come up – only with as little information as needed.

Again, emphasize the good – emphasize the helpers, as Mr. Rogers would say.

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