Talking to your child after a school shooting or tragedy

Pastor Jimmy Bartz offers suggestions on how parents can talk to kids about school shootings or other tragedies
Parenting and Family Advice | Talking to your child after a school shooting or tragedy
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Talking to your child after a school shooting or tragedy

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As parents it's important to know how to respond to tragic events that happen that our kids are exposed to in the media, whether it's human violence like a school shooting, or whether it's just a natural disaster like a tsunami or another giant storm. I think the best way that we can do that is to do it honestly and straightforwardly. But we also want to create a context where our kids can ask us plenty of questions where we can respond responsibly. We want to make sure that we make ourselves vulnerable. That's a frightening and troubling experience when I see police officers running into a school. Or that makes me feel sad when I see a community that has been wiped out because of a storm. So we want to make ourselves appropriately vulnerable and model that for our children. But we also want to create an environment where we assure our kids of an overarching, more universal sense of safety. But you know there's nothing that can ever come between the love that we share in our family. And you know that our connection as a family is always safe.

Pastor Jimmy Bartz offers suggestions on how parents can talk to kids about school shootings or other tragedies

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Jimmy Bartz

Priest

Jimmy is the founder and convener of Thad’s—a spiritual community meeting on Sunday mornings in The Writer’s Bootcamp in Santa Monica. An ordained Episcopal priest, Jimmy has spent most of his professional life leading communities in the work of making a love-spreading difference in the world that surrounds them.

His recent work includes studying the relationship between the outdoors and positive, psycho-spiritual health. When not in the office, he can be found in the ocean or in the mountains, usually with his wife, Cindy, or his two children, Jas and Jade.

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