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When my daughter was little, our world was turned upside down.

We came home from being out for the day and our house had been broken into. We didn’t realize it at first and unfortunately walked inside with our little one and found a mess.

It was the scariest and most gut wrenching experience I have had in my life. My poor daughter’s piggy bank had been smashed, her iPad stolen and a little piece of her innocence taken away. She had so many questions at such a young age and it was a difficult road to navigate as parents.

With the horrific events that have been happening in our world today, especially with the latest shooting at the school in Florida, it has got me thinking about our children and how to answer them when they ask about tough topics.

How To Talk To Your Kids About How Scary The World Can Be

I want to share with you a few things I learned while talking to my little one about our scary situation and also share a few books I like that may help!

Be Honest.

This may sound strange but I tried to be as honest with my daughter as possible. When our house was robbed, she learned at way too young of an age that there are bad people in this world. This is not something I would have expected her to find out until much later in life. Unfortunately, the reality was that she was learning something at 3 that most people don’t learn until they are older. As much as I wanted to shield her from the truth, I answered her questions the best way I knew how and tried to stay open and honest about what happened!

Talk As Much As They Want.

We answered questions and had conversations day and night for a few weeks following the incident. Let them talk as much as they want or need to. To this day, my daughter will make a comment occasionally about the bad people that came into our house and stole her iPad. Whenever she needs to, we discuss why someone would do that and how it made her feel. Even though you may not want to, stop what you’re doing and have that conversation.

Reassure Them.

This was big for us because my daughter was scared and very unsure in our own home. I didn’t want to give her a false sense of security but I wanted her to know that she was okay. Even now when she brings it up, I make it a point to reassure her that although there are bad people in this world, there are also so many good people. I never wanted what happened to change her view of people. Let them know that scary things do happen but that the world is not a bad place!

Read Books.

I am a firm believer in finding books that children can relate to when it comes to difficult situations. From potty training to mean kids at school, we have read books on the topics to my daughter and I truly believe it has helped. I love taking the time to sit, read and discuss what is in the books. Here are a few books you can share with your children when it comes to tragic events or scary situations!

Jenny Is Scared! by Carol Shuman

Love, Hugs, and Hope by Christy Monson

The Rhino Who Swallowed A Storm by LeVar Burton & Susan Schaefer Bernardo

Validate Their Feelings.

For us, it was very important that we didn’t dismiss my daughter’s feelings and try to make it like it was no big deal. Now, that doesn’t mean we were dwelling on it either. It was important for us to let her know it’s okay that she was scared, confused and upset. I wanted her to feel comfortable coming to me with her feelings and that I would listen and understand the best I could.

Unfortunately, we cannot keep our kids in a bubble as much as we may want to. Although we experienced a scary thing and were shaken up, my little one is okay. Yes, she asks questions and doesn’t understand. But at the end of the day, she is okay and her view on the world has not changed. She still believes that people are good and that is the most important thing for me as a parent!

Have you ever dealt with a scary or tragic situation with your children? How would you handle it if someone did happen?? I would love to hear from other parents! XOXO

Janie and Jack Sale on Now