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How to Support Children During Tragic Events

June 1

It’s hard to stop thinking about the victims of the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. It seems each day, the news updates are even more gut wrenching. And as staff who work with children, and parents of our own children, it’s hard to know what to say.

Processing news like this can be challenging for all — children and adults. Some families choose how or if they talk about current events with their children. For other families, children may go to the grown-ups in their life with big questions. Our goal is to support children during program hours if they come to their staff with thoughts, feelings, or questions.

It is important to be honest in conversations about these events, but it’s equally important to make sure hard topics are discussed in a way that is appropriate for the child’s developmental age.

Here is a list of books and resources for families to help with big questions and hard conversations that may come up after recent events:

4K & Kindergarten

  • Once I Was Very Scared, by Chandra Ghosh Ippen
  • The Rabbit Listened, by Cori Doerrfeld
  • Wemberly Worried, by Kevin Henkes
  • Most People, by Michael Leannah

1st & 2nd Grade

  • The Great Big Book of Feelings, by Mary Hoffman
  • A Terrible Thing Happened, by Margaret Holmes
  • Come With Me, by Holly McGhee
  • The Whatifs, by Emily Kilgore
  • Something Happened in Our Park, by Ann Hazzard

3rd-5th Grade

  • The Lost Things Club, by J.S. Puller
  • Something Bad Happened, by Dawn Huebner
  • Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park

Middle School and up

  • The Shape of Thunder, by Jasmine Warga
  • Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement, by The March for Our Lives Founders

For Grown-Ups

Check with your local public library or favorite book shop to find any of the books listed above.

Please take care of yourself and your families.