June 4, 2020

3 Ways to Talk to Children About Sad News

talk to children about sad news

We are living through unprecedented times and it is difficult to talk to children about sad news. There are many factors to consider including age and relevance. Even when speaking to other adults many people avoid hard topics. Like can get scary and it is important to tackle these difficult times head-on.

As leaders in the foster community Foster Love - Together We Rise compiled a list of 3 ways to talk to children about sad news.

1. Plan What You Want To Say

Children are very smart and observant, your silence will not go unnoticed. To ensure you are getting across the right message practice what you want to say. This doesn’t have to be scripted. Take some time to layout the points you want to make and what you want your child to take away. Leading an open conversation that is extemporaneous and honest.

Remember to practice answers to some potential questions. “Why” doesn’t always have a simple answer and it is okay to let your child know that. It is okay to look for answers together.

2. Share Your Feelings

Another approach is to start by sharing your feelings. Let your children know that you are also concerned/worried/anxious and that is normal. Explain to them that feelings are valid. Everyone is entitled to living and owning their feelings. There is no shame in feeling sad, or scared. Reassure them that whatever sad news comes along you all will get through it together.

3. Focus On Facts

It is okay to not have all the answers. So, focus on sharing facts and information that comes from qualified sources. Keep information age-appropriate and let your child know that you are keeping informed and will share updates.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, we hope that as you talk to children about sad news, it brings them comfort. There is no easy way to navigate loss and children can sense our fears and stress. For more resources on managing difficult moments check out the American Psychological Association. 

Foster Love - Together We Rise is a constant supporter of all families. For more resources click here.

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