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#Orlando_Shootings: What To Tell The Children

As many people still struggle to understand what happened in Orlando, some parents may be struggling with how to explain it to their children. 

The whys and hows of the Orlando nightclub shooting are still unfolding. So, possibly are children’s questions about it, CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports.

The Family Institute’s Staff psychologist, Dr, Jacob Goldsmith, says parents shouldn’t avoid them. 

“I like to advocate for developmentally appropriate honesty,” he said.

In other words, know your child and know what your child might be able to handle.

“There are kids for whom information is very soothing,” Goldsmith said. “It helps them feel that they know something and it makes them feel safe. There are other kids who will get stuck on details and it will make them anxious.”

How will a parent know? Listen first and then ask. 


“If you hear they are scared,” Goldsmith said. “If they are very nervous and they are very worried, there are some specific things you can do. You can speak to that worry. You can offer to soothe them without changing the basic household routine. You want to underscore they are safe.”

Goldsmith says if your child wants to know more, give them simple, straightforward answers.


For older children, who may be angry about the massacre inside Pulse nightclub, parents should consider asking them if they would like to take action–by attending a vigil or volunteering for a cause.
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