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When Scary Things Happen: Resources to Comfort Children for Parents

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When scary things happen in the world around us, like the attacks in Nice, France or in our backyard like the Dallas shootings, children can feel afraid and anxious. It can be difficult for parents to address these issues with kids, so we’ve gathered a list of resources to help you navigate these difficult situations with your children.

Helping Children Cope After a Crisis or Emergency (PDF)

This sheet gives you a list of ways to support children after an unexpected event happens. Be patient, comforting, and understanding as they ask and you answer their questions. Remember that as an adult you also need to take care of yourself.

Draw Your Feelings Worksheet (PDF)

Sometimes children can express their feelings better creatively. Here’s a worksheet where kids can draw how they’re feeling.

Comforting Children Through Stressful Times

From Sesame Workshop, this link gives you a series of tips on how to help your kids get through scary situations.

Encourage Pretend Play

Sometimes children don’t understand their feelings and through pretend play they find out how they feel about something. This link helps you understand what role pretending can have in your child.

Here’s a video from Sesame Workshop that tells children who they can turn to in a scary situation: 

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For more videos and resources on how to help your kids in an emergency or crisis, you can visit PBSKids.org/learn/when-something-scary-happens.