Experts discuss how to talk to your children about disasters

Augusta, GA (WJBF) – Devastating situations like the Las Vegas shooting can affect everyone, even small children and while the details can be hard to understand, your child may have questions.

When it comes to even speaking about tragic events, it can be hard to find a way to relate to kids. Today, we spoke with a local chaplain about how families can help children cope.

“I’m standing there watching and I’m thinking to myself what is this world coming to as I think many people have said what is this world coming to,” said Pauline Hughes – Chaplin at Doctors Hospital.

After the mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas that left at least 58 people dead, and more than 500 hurt, your kids may have a lot of questions. And experts say finding the right words can be hard.

“It can be hard but the main thing when we’re talking to children is to meet children at their point of need. Let the child talk, many times we tend to talk for our children speak for our children and not let them and not let them really express who they are,” said Pauline Hughes – Chaplin at Doctors Hospital.

Pastor Pauline Hughes of Doctors hospital says the first step is letting the kid express themselves without interrupting them.

“I think it goes back to the family meal and just sitting your child down and saying and say ‘tell me about your day,” said Pauline Hughes – Chaplin at Doctors Hospital.

She says children can cope more effectively with a disaster when they feel they understand what is happening.

“And so even in this situation allow the child to develop allow the child to speak and their own environment I think that’s very important,” said Pauline Hughes – Chaplin at Doctors Hospital.

She says that during this time the most important thing everyone can do with their children is pray.

“The main thing we need to do we need to be a caring community, you know yes prayer and spirituality all those things play a role but I think we need to ask ourselves how are you an asset to your community,”said Pauline Hughes – Chaplin at Doctors Hospital.

For helpful ways you can talk with your children, click here.

  • Let your child know that it is all right to be upset about something bad that happened.
  • If you feel overwhelmed and/or hopeless.
  • Don’t feel obligated to give a reason for what happened.
  • Allow children to express their regrets over “secondary losses” (with accusing them of being selfish).

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