Talking with Children About Tough Issues

Talking with Children About Tough Issues

We long for the day that natural disasters and senseless violence will be but a distant memory. Yet our children are exposed to these horrific events in the media on a regular basis. How can we guide them in ways that will help them to grow into mature adults? How can we quell our own fears while keeping them calm and feeling safe?

The links below offer some guidance for what to say (and what not to say), for what to do (and what not to do), and how to help children navigate the tough issues in their lives.


     Resources for children and families; click here for a sister site specifically for children of divorce
     Support for children, teens, and families after the death of a parent

Gun Violence
     See resources below

Coping After a Disaster activity book for children from the CDC

Helping Children Cope with Loss, Death, and Grief: Tips for Teachers and Parents

Helping Children and Youth Cope with Violence and Disasters
     from the National Institute of Mental Health

Just Added!     Leading Conversations After a Crisis
     from Teaching Tolerance

Resource to use at home after a traumatic event and/or natural disaster
    from Traci Smith

Talking About Death with Children

Pornography - What To Do When a Child Has Been Exposed
     from Protect Young Minds

We Must Talk with Our Children After a Tragedy
     A blogpost by Debbie Gline Allen



Good Grief: Helping Groups of Children When a Friend Dies by Sandra Sutherland Fox
Help Me Say Goodbye: Activities for Helping Kids Cope When a Special Person Dies by Janis Silverman
When Kids Ask Hard Questions: Faith-filled Responses for Tough Questions by Bromleigh Mc Cleneghan & Karen Ware Jackson


Children's Books about Death, Loss, and Coping

Badger's Paring Gifts by Susan Varley
Everett Anderson's Goodbye by Lucille Clifton
The Fall of Freddie the Leaf by Leo Buscaglia
I Remember Miss Perry by Pat Brisson
The Memory Book: A Grief Journal for Children & Families by Joanna Rowland
The 10th Good Thing About Barney by Judith Viorst
Tear Soup by Pat Schwiebert
Waterbugs and Dragonflies by Doris Stickney


Gun Violence

A Faith-Based Intergenerational Resource for Conversation and Action to Prevent Gun Violence from the Disciples of Christ
​Can We Talk About Guns? from the Christian Century
Gun Violence Prevention Congregational Toolkit from the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship; download for free


Some Things Congregations Can Do

  • Collect comfort supplies for local hospitals such as stuffed animals, snuggle blankets, comforting children's books, good quality craft supplies, tote bags of drawing pads & Crayons/markers, etc.
  • Connect with agencies, such as the Children's Room in Arlington, MA, for ideas and opportunities to help
  • Gather a Prayer Group together
  • Contact volunteers to make meals for a grieving family
Subscribe to our emails
Framingham, MA Office

1 Badger Road
Framingham, MA 01702
Fax: 508-875-5485

Hartford, CT Office

125 Sherman Street
Hartford, CT 06105
866-367-2822 (Toll Free in CT)

General Email: