How To Talk with Children About the Boston Marathon Bombing

The news continues to replay the bombings.  Parents, turn off the TV.  Young children do not process images on TV as well as adults. Parents can monitor events on smartphones and tablets while children are occupied in other activities.

Have a conversation, but tread lightly.  Clarify any misinformation.  Talk in general terms and avoid scary specifics.

Help your child feel safe.  Let the child know that he or she is safe, the family is safe, and their friends are safe.  Children may be clingy, so that extra time together and extra hugs will help them feel secure.

Encourage questions and conversation.  Remind them that these events are very unusual.

Focus on the positive.  Remind your children to look for the helpers in a scary situation.

Be on the lookout.  If your child’s behavior changes–not sleeping well, constantly feeling frightened or anxious, not wanting to be alone–offer more time for discussion.  If it continues, seek professional help.