From Student Support Services: Talking to your Child about Terrorist Attacks

Terrorism and intentional acts of violence in the news are difficult for adults to process and understand, much less children and adolescents. As adults our first instinct may be to avoid discussing the events with our children and try to protect them from the idea that our world is not always safe. However, with continued media coverage of the recent attacks in California and Paris, France, as well as in other countries such as Jordan and Nigeria, the likelihood that your child will hear about these acts increases. Therefore, it is important for you as the parent to answer any questions your child may have, help them understand the facts, and work through any emotions that may come up. You as the parent can set the emotional tone for how to process these events, keeping in mind that you know your own child best and what he/she can handle developmentally and emotionally.

To help you respond to your child’s questions or concerns, we are sharing two resources with guidelines about how to engage in conversations with your children about such events.

Time Article “How to Talk to Your Kids about the Attacks in Paris”
National Association of School Psychologists “Helping Children Cope with Terrorism”

As always, if you would like additional support or dialogue about how best to support your child, please reach out to your divisional School Counselor.


Vicki Thurman
Director of Student Services

Ashley O’Toole
LS Counselor/Learning Specialist

Kara Friedman
MS Counselor

David Hotaling
US Counselor