When a Death Occurs in a Community: Helping Children and Teens

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studentParents and other adults have an opportunity to turn a tragedy into a learning experience.  It is an opportunity to become closer to the children and teens in your life by sharing this experience.

As a role model, your ability to share and communicate openly empowers the children and teens around you to express their feelings more comfortably, and it helps them to learn empathy and concern for others.

Give children and teens the facts in a simple, straightforward manner. If you don't have answers to certain questions, it's okay to say "I don't know the answer to that question, but I will try to find out.  Ask them what they have heard or know.  Ask if there are any words they don't understand.

Use direct, concrete language. Say the words that apply:" accident" "dead" "critical condition" "suicide"  "survivor" or "victim".

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