Talking to your child after a school shooting or tragedy

Pastor Jimmy Bartz offers suggestions on how parents can talk to kids about school shootings or other tragedies
Parenting and Family Advice | Talking to your child after a school shooting or tragedy
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Talking to your child after a school shooting or tragedy

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As parents it's important to know how to respond to tragic events that happen that our kids are exposed to in the media, whether it's human violence like a school shooting, or whether it's just a natural disaster like a tsunami or another giant storm. I think the best way that we can do that is to do it honestly and straightforwardly. But we also want to create a context where our kids can ask us plenty of questions where we can respond responsibly. We want to make sure that we make ourselves vulnerable. That's a frightening and troubling experience when I see police officers running into a school. Or that makes me feel sad when I see a community that has been wiped out because of a storm. So we want to make ourselves appropriately vulnerable and model that for our children. But we also want to create an environment where we assure our kids of an overarching, more universal sense of safety. But you know there's nothing that can ever come between the love that we share in our family. And you know that our connection as a family is always safe.

Pastor Jimmy Bartz offers suggestions on how parents can talk to kids about school shootings or other tragedies

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Jimmy Bartz

Priest

Jimmy serves as rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Prior to coming to Jackson, he was the founder and priest at Thad’s, an emergent Episcopal Church in the Santa Monica, California, in the Diocese of Los Angeles. He has also served as the Campus Missioner at the University of Texas in Austin, at All Saints’ in Austin, Texas, and All Saints’ Parish in Beverly Hills, California. He is a graduate the University of Texas at Austin and Virginia Theological Seminary. Presently, he serves as the Chair of the Board of the Episcopal Evangelism Society, and in years past has worked with Red Bull High Performance teaching athletes spiritual disciplines, with Naval Special Warfare working to create systems for character development within special operations teams, and was a speaker at TEDx, Venice Beach.
Married to Cindy and dad to Jas and Jade, the Bartz family loves to spend time outside mountaineering, skiing, fly-fishing, hunting and surfing.  Jimmy is currently writing a book on the spirituality of risk.

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