Explaining Dramatic News Events to Children
by Josie Sawyer, LCSW
Executive and Clinical Director
Lucy Daniels Center
As always when there are traumatic and dramatic events in the news, we turn our attention to the potential impact on children.
It is inevitable that children sometimes catch wind of events in the news before they are developmentally and emotionally ready to understand them. To the extent possible, we suggest that you avoid discussions or exposure to visual and audio news broadcasts, or discussions among adults, while your children are within earshot. But that is not always possible, and some children may have been exposed to yesterday’s events in images, videos, soundbites, or overheard conversations between adults. For older children who are emotionally and developmentally ready for some conversations around these events, you may choose to bring these topics up in an intentional way to share your family’s values and reinforce the child’s sense of safety.
In addition, you may find the following resource useful for helping children process traumatic events: