It may be anxiety provoking to talk to your children about the atrocity that befell Uvalde, Texas yesterday. However, it is so important they receive the correct information so they do not become anxious about that kind of situation happening at their school. First of all, find a place where you can have a conversation with your children where they cannot easily leave, for example, your car. You want to ensure that they pay the utmost attention to what you are telling them.
Second of all, assure them that they are safe in their school. Explain to them that precautions have been taken in their school to guard against any possible problem. Discuss the specific things that have been implemented.
Third of all, before you give them any real time information, see if they have heard anything about the situation and exactly what they have heard. Older children, especially read and hear information on social media. They could be looking at a science video on YouTube and something could pop up about what has happened.
Next, tell the younger children brief information that is not specifically detailed. This information should reflect what they already know, however. Observe their behavior to see if it reflects anxiety. Are they drawing excessively or involved in some activity that is atypical for them. Are they doing that activity obsessively?
Limit access to social media or television temporarily with older children, so they do not hear anything about the violent situation that occurred before you have had a chance to talk with them about it. You may have more detailed and more complex conversations with your older children. Do not pressure your children to talk about the violent situation that has occurred recently. Permit them to discuss it as much or as little as they desire. Use open-ended questions when you talk to them. In that way, you will encourage them to talk more freely than if they have to answer more pointed, directed questions.
If possible, continue with your normal, everyday activities. If your children know that their lives will be predictable and continue onward, they will be much more reassured.