Talking to Children and Teens About Scary Events

UW Madison Division of Extension-Dodge County, Human Development and Relationships Educator, Pattie Carroll, reminds parents that talking with their children about scary events is important. Considering the tragic events during the Waukesha holiday parade, some parents might be looking for resources to help them navigate these difficult conversations with their children. Pattie Carroll has put together some resources you may find helpful.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”― Fred Rogers

Not all young people react to terrorist attacks and violent events in the same manner. Some teens may show little or no reaction while some may need consistent support following a violent incident. Others may not know how to broach the topic. You may find your child is not ready to talk about the event or doesn’t feel particularly worried or impacted.Talking about terrorism and mass violence with teens:

What can parents do? 

*  Talking about terrorism and mass violence with teens: What can parents do?  Article written by Allie Barringer; Parethetical, February 19, 2018.

* In this Parenting Behind the Behavior video by Anne Clarkson, she discusses how children look to the adults around them to undertand how to respond to scary events.  Responding to Scary Events | Parenting Behind the Behavior; March 5, 2020

More Resources Available from the University of Wisconsin-Extension Human Development Program

Tips to Help Preschoolers Process Scary Events | from Parenting the Preschooler; UW-Madison Division of Extension

A Little Caring Goes a Long Way | from Raising Caring Kids

Death and Grief | UW-Madison Division of Extension; Written by Tierany Rugg, Review by Mandi Dornfeld-January 2021.



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