Breaking bad news to kids; What parents should know

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LA CROSSE, Wis (WEAU)- The deaths of the three river falls girls was tragic news, but imagine trying to explain it to your kids.

It’s normal for families to go through troubling times, but when breaking news to a child parents should know that: location, less details, and support are essential to ease the pain.

Jerry Tabbert, a child therapist for the Family and Children’s Center in La Crosse explained.

“It’s best to find a comfortable area and a give them a support system not only for a couple of hours but for days,” said Tabbert.

“It takes time for them to process and they may not believe it at first. If they are having trouble accepting the death and they are old enough taking them to the funeral or following event may help them," added Tabbert.

Tabbert also said that parents should avoid asking their kids how they feel as it maybe frustrating for them. And make sure there is not blame associated with it.

"Kids tend to personalize an accident or injury and think it’s their fault when its not," said Tabbert.

If a child is having night terrors or becomes depressed after hearing bad news, parents should seek professional help from a children’s counselor or therapist.


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