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7 Tips For Talking to Your Kids About Scary Things

Talking to Your Kids About Scary ThingsThere are times where I think about what’s happening in the world and wish I could shelter my kids from it all.

From the scary news stories, the scary weather and the lasting effects afterward, family and friends getting sick and all the fear and emotions that go along with it — the world can seem like a scary place for us and I can only imagine how it can feel for kids.

I can’t protect my kids from all the sad and scary things no matter how much I try. It’s a part of life and the best I can do it help them understand what’s going on, to help them feel safe, and give them the ability to talk about their fears.

Talking to our kids about the “scary things” can be intimidating for us parents — we don’t want to upset them, but know that it’s better for them to communicate.

Click through to read 7 tips for talking to your kids about scary things:


  • Wait For Them to Start the Conversation 1 of 7
    Wait For Them to Start the Conversation
    There is a lot of scary news that we all read, see or hear each day. You don't need to go talking to your kids about every new source, but if they ask -- start the conversation. Perhaps someone was talking about it at school or they saw it on tv, if they're asking about it, it's on their mind and it's good to address it.
    Source: Parenting
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Take Their Concerns Seriously 2 of 7
    Take Their Concerns Seriously
    Don't dismiss your child's feelings and tell them that you will explain it when they're older. Kids are more aware than we may realize and allowing them to ask questions and tell you something is on their mind will solidify that they can talk to you about anything.
    Source: HospiceNet.org
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Let Them Know It’s Okay 3 of 7
    Let Them Know It's Okay
    Kids have wild imaginations and they are at a developmental stage where they will internalize everything. They will think about how this will effect them, will it happen to them or someone closer to them? Assure them that they are safe, that things will be okay and let them know it is okay to talk to you about their fears any time. Allow your child to express what they're feeling.
    Source: CanadianFamily
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Keep Answers Brief & Simple 4 of 7
    Keep Answers Brief & Simple
    You don't want to overwhelm your child with too many details, but you do want to answer their questions. Keeping the answers brief and simple will help kids follow and understand the conversation.
    Source: Kids Health.org
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Help Them Identify Their Emotions 5 of 7
    Help Them Identify Their Emotions
    Kids may not have all the words for what they are feeling and sometimes when you're feeling something but don't know what it is -- that can be scary too. Kids may not understand that it is okay to be angry, upset, sad and scared so helping them identify what they're feeling can help them start to deal with it all.
    Source: HospiceNet.org
    Photo credit: iStockPhoto
  • Offer Honest Explanations 6 of 7
    Offer Honest Explanations
    You don't want to lie to your kids -- you want to be honest in your answers even if your answer is "I don't know" -- that's okay too.
    Source: Kids Health.org
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Seek Professional Counselling 7 of 7
    Seek Professional Counselling
    It's not a bad thing to seek professional counselling for managing grief or scary news. You can do family therapy or have someone for your child to talk to on their own.
    Source: HospiceNet.org
    Photo credit: photostock

Photo credit: adapted from iStockPhoto

*****

Read more from  on Accustomed Chaos & Unspoken Grief

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