Kids and the Boston Marathon Bombings

How to talk with children about unsettling news.

If we as adults have problems coming to terms with the tragic events that occurred at the Boston Marathon earlier this week, just think how our kids feel.

My 7th-grader came home from school the day after the bombings asking if a little girl had really been killed. He'd gotten some misinformation from a friend on the bus. It was little relief to tell him that while no young girl had been a casualty, an 8-year-old boy had indeed lost his life. Keeping this news from my son was not an option: He'd see the truth on whatever home page popped up while he checked his phone or opened the laptop to do homework.

Talking to our kids in the wake of tragedy is never easy. It helps, though, that after such an event, expert advice on how to navigate the delicate topic is abundantly accessible.

Dr. Sue Cornbluth, a child psychologist and professor at Temple University, has tips for tailoring the conversation to kids of varying ages.

Dr. David J. Schonfeld, chief pediatrician at Philly's St. Christopher's Hospital for Children and a member of the Sandy Hook Commission on School Crises, advocates turning off the TV.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has an always-helpful guide to helping children cope with difficult events.

On our own website, you'll find plenty of articles dealing with kids' fears and anxieties. "Worries – and What We Can Affect" was written after the Sandy Hook shootings shook up the nation.

"Does Your Child Worry Too Much?" asks a question most parents grapple with during uncertain times.

"How to Slay Monsters and Fears" addresses alleviating the worries of toddlers.

And though it's not terrorism-related, "Books Can Help Parents Discuss Tough Topics With Teens" offers a list of titles that give parents an entry point in talking about difficult subjects with their teenagers.

How did you address the marathon bombings with your kids? Let us know by commenting below.

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