Talking to Kids About Tragedies and Disasters

parent-child-talkThe 8.9 earthquake that hit Japan and caused a tsunami calls to mind other large-scale natural disasters from past years, such as the Indian Ocean tsunami and earthquake in 2004, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the Haiti earthquake in 2010. 

Oftentimes, talking about tragedies–whether worldwide or personal ones–can be difficult.  It involves explaining how and why bad things can happen to good people in the world, cultivating your child’s empathy and compassion, and making sure your child understands serious events without being too upset, scared or traumatized.

In light of this recent event, here are some guidelines to help you explain natural disasters and catastrophes to kids.

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