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Mount Mansfield Unified Union School District

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Supporting Families

Helping Children Cope With Tragic News - Guidelines for Parents


One of the most helpful things you can do for your children in coping with tragic news is to simply talk and listen to them in a nonjudgmental way. Let your child lead the conversation. No one knows your child better than you do. We don't always know how a child will be affected by a tragedy such as death, but their reactions are typically quite different from adults. Children might benefit from having the conversation in several small doses. Experts suggest to be prepared for your child to do any of the following:

  • Claim/seem not to be affected
  • Ask a lot of questions, repeating the same ones again and again
  • Act agitated and angry
  • Try abnormally hard to be good
  • Withdraw
  • Have frightful dream

At school, our counselors are prepared to speak with students as appropriate and needed. Providing truthful information, encouraging questions, and offering loving reassurance to your children, can allow your family to find the strength to cope with loss.