Talking to your kids honestly, in an age appropriate way, is better than trying to shield them from disturbing news. (Submitted photo)

Better to talk to kids about tragedies than shield them

Fraser Health releases tip sheet for parents on how to discuss tragic news events

Parents have the unique opportunity to shape how young people consume news.

And in the wake of the news of a mass shooting at Las Vegas on Sunday, and other sometimes shocking news events happening around the world, Fraser Health has released a reminder to parents to take the lead.

They have republished a tip sheet created by The Scientific Parent, called Talking to Kids About Tragedy.

It reads that “many parents’ first instinct is to shield their children from tragic events, whether natural disasters or acts of violence.”

However, studies are now showing that not talking to children about these types of events can actually do more harm than good. It refers to Dr. Gail Beck, director of Youth Outpatient and Outreach Psychiatry at the Royal Mental Health Centre in Ottawa.

The tips include:

– Talking to your kids about how the events make you feel using age appropriate language, and ask them how the events make them feel.

– Be honest about what happened, in an age appropriate way, avoiding the use of flowery metaphors or fairy tales.

– Turn off the news if you feel the images or details are too graphic, but explain to your child why you’re doing so.

– If your child asks a question to which you don’t have an answer it’s okay to say “I don’t know.”

– Reassure them it’s normal to feel sad or upset about a tragic event and encourage them to talk to you.

– If teens or older children say they need to watch the news coverage, watch it with them and talk through their emotions.

To learn more about mental health from Fraser Health, visit them online.

Just Posted

Abbotsford man charged with two child porn offences

Investigation against Jeremy Allen Willms, 42, began in April

UFV and union headed to labour relations board

Union says it’s facing ‘extraordinary’ challenges

Auto mall convoy to deliver items to Abbotsford Food Bank

Annual event takes place Saturday, Dec. 16

Andy Sidhu appointed new chancellor at UFV

Third person to take on university role, first established in 2008

Abbotsford lawyer suing The Bay claims he was assaulted by security guard

Greg Lanning says incident started when he asked to have label removed from pants

Me Too At Work: Sexual assault and harassment in the B.C. workplace

Introducing an in-depth look at who is affected and what can be done

Bomb detonated in Kamloops neighbourhood

Kamloops RCMP are investigating after an improvised explosive device was detonated Wednesday morning

No More Shootouts: Strong defence will be Canada’s backbone at world juniors

Head coach doesn’t want a situation where a hot goalie or a lucky bounce can determine a team’s fate

Maple Ridge becomes the mysterious haunt of the X-Files

Stars of sci-fi series show up in Memorial Peace Park

Proposed snowmobiles along Sicamous roads concern RCMP

RCMP, ICBC and province not yet on-board with proposed off-road bylaw in the B.C. Interior

‘Assemble your own meal’ kits grow into $120M industry in Canada

Kits offer a middle ground between eating out and grocery shopping

Millennials closing in as B.C.’s biggest wine drinkers

Generation X leads the way in current consumption of B.C. wine, as more wine drinkers are enjoying local varietals

Canadians lag behind Americans in giving to charity

Only one-in-five Canadians donated to charities in 2017

B.C. children adoption rates lagging, despite increased funding: watchdog

More than 1,000 children are still waiting to be adopted, new report shows

Most Read