Early Childhood NewsK-12 News

Difficult Conversations with Young Children

“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. To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words and am comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers—so many caring people in this world.”

-Fred Rogers

It’s hard to know how to explain tragic events to young children, or how much information to share. It’s also hard to know if your way of helping them with their fears and anxieties is “the right way” but there are ways to help them feel safer and more secure …and build hope for a more peaceful, kinder future. KET has curated a list of resources in hopes of providing families with a starting place for those difficult conversations taking place about violence in our community.

When Something Scary Happens
PBS Resources to Help Families Cope in Emergencies and Other Challenging Times

Helping Children with Tragic Events in the News
In times of community or world-wide crisis, it’s easy to assume that young children don’t know what’s going on. But one thing’s for sure — children are very sensitive to how their parents feel.

Community Violence Sesame Street Resources
Troubling Times For children indirectly exposed to violence through media.

H Is for Helping Hands
Families are the “helping hands” who can help children through difficult times.

Sesame Street Resources on Violence (Bilingual)
It’s hard to know how to help young children understand and cope with the effects of violence, but there are ways to help them feel safer and more secure… and build hope for a more peaceful, kinder future.

Meet the Helpers
Many children have questions and can feel uneasy when emergencies occur in their communities. The Meet the Helpers toolkit is designed to introduce “helpers” and explain the role they play in emergency situations. Included in the toolkit are videos and hands-on activities that provide educators and families with developmentally appropriate resources for young children.

WQED Kindness Campaign
Watch the story of two students and their teacher who created a local movement encouraging not just kids but everyone to #BetheKindKid.

Start With Hello: Educator Guides | Sandy Hook Promise
Start With Hello asks students, educators, parents, and other community leaders who interact with children to take steps in class, the lunchroom and/or on the bus to be inclusive and connected. This easy-to-use guide is designed to assist adult educators in delivering the Start With Hello program. It includes classroom objectives, discussion questions, key messages, activities, extension options and additional resources.

We hope these resources will be helpful as you have these conversations with your children or children in your care.