From school shootings to natural disasters, the world can be a scary place! Christy Beck from Beck Psychotherapy shares some tips on how to talk to kids about sensitive topics.

How to Talk to Kids About Sensitive Topics

1. Use age-appropriate language. Give children enough information so they can understand what is going on, but not so much that it overwhelms them.

2. Check out books from the library on various subjects to get the conversation started.

3. Know that these are not “once and done” conversations. Conversations about sensitive topics will need to be repeated over the years, adapting to your child’s maturity level. Let them know they can talk to you any time about any subject.

4. Ask open-ended questions, not just “yes” or “no” questions, to engage children in the conversation and so you have the opportunity to hear their opinions.

5. Be honest with them about your feelings on each subject. Part of engaging in open dialogue is to be open yourself. Children look to the adults in their lives for honesty and reassurance, as well as what your values are.

6. Help turn feelings of powerlessness into feelings of empowerment. Even with tragic stories, look for the heroes. Ask your kids what they would do in certain situations to help.


Beck Psychotherapy offers free mental health screenings.

Beck Psychotherapy is located at 103 East Beaver Ave. Suite #2 in State College, and at 700 Park Avenue Suite #1 in Altoona. You can call them at (814) 409-7744. Calls are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.