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Have you had a conversation with your children about the mass shooting in Texas last week?

 

I am struggling to process yet another unthinkable tragedy.

If your child knows about it, you need to be able to provide that space for them to feel able to talk about anything.

 

Here are a few tips for challenging conversations with children.

 

🤔 Check in with your own thoughts and emotions first.

Your child will feed off your words, body language and energy.

That sets the tone for the climate in your home.

 

❓ What do you already know?

What do you want to know?

What do you think about what happened?

What are you worried about?

What’s on your mind?

 

🦻 Listen to their thoughts and feelings.

What they probably need is to feel safe and supported, to know they are being heard and any concerns are validated.

 

🙄Be careful not to overshare unnecessarily. Correct any misunderstanding or misconceptions in a factual way – be clear & specific.

 

👨🏾‍🦱 Your child’s perception, may be quite different to the reality.

 

❓ You don’t have to answer immediately. Give yourself time to consider and openly say “I need to think about the best way to explain this / talk about this and I will come back to you.”

 

👌 Acknowledge that it’s OK to feel anxious, sad, scared or angry.  It’s also OK to talk about difficult things. All feelings are acceptable and no subject is off limits.

 

👩‍👩‍👧‍👧Physical contact and time together can provide children with a feeling of inner security. At difficult times, children also benefit from routine and familiarity.

 

Children look to us to keep things in perspective.

What tips would you add, when it comes to difficult conversations?