Talking to Kids About Tough Issues
Violence Free Coalition Of Warren County
Violence Is All Around
With today’s 24/7 media coverage,
children are being exposed to violence
at increasingly younger ages.
The average child will witness 200,000
violent acts on TV by the age of 18.
Research shows children want their
parents to talk to them about today’s
Develop open communication. It’s important
to talk to your kids honestly.
Provide straightforward answers; often the
ideas they come up with are more
frightening than the honest response.
Realize children feel better when they talk
about their feelings.
Ask your child how they feel about what they
have witnessed. “That movie seemed pretty
scary to me. How did you feel watching it?”
Encourage Children To Talk
Monitor the Media
Watching violence can desensitize
Be firm in what they cannot watch
or play. Even if “everyone else” is.
Watch TV or play the video game
with your child and talk about the
things you are seeing.
Let them know why what you are
seeing disturbs you. “This isn’t
funny to me. Shooting a person in
real life means someone’s family
member is dead.”
Reassure Your Child They
Are Safe At School
Acknowledge your child’s fears.
Reassure them of their safety at
school. Point out the safety
features that are in place, such as
locked doors and cameras.
Find out if their school has a
police officer assigned to the
Encourage them to come to
you if they ever feel unsafe.
Reassure Your Child They
Are Safe At Home
Point out the safety features
that are in place in your home.
Remind the child of the rules
for safety, such as never
opening the door to a stranger
or making sure to close the
garage door when they come
in from outside.
Make sure they know how to
call 9-1-1 in an emergency.
Control Your Own Behavior
Children learn by watching their
Examine how you approach conflict.
Do you use violence?
When you are upset, do you yell or use
If you want your child to avoid using
violence themselves, model the right
behavior for them.
Pay Attention To Boys
Boys typically love action.
But action does not need to
Allow them safe and
healthy outlets for their
Do not excuse violence with
“boys will be boys.”
Topics Of Conversations By Age
What does your child
consider to be violent?
What is the difference
between rough playing,
and hitting or bullying?
Why does your child like or
dislike a violent video
game or TV show?
How does your child feel
when they witness people
What behaviors have you
witnessed in school?
What should you do if you
are being bullied or
What does an abusive
dating relationship look
Why is it important to tell
an adult about bullying or
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“This publication/material was supported by the 5VF1CE001114-3 from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessary represent the official views of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention”
Jane B. Conn, VFC Director
Megan Crouch, VFC Prevention Education Coordinator
Pat Clark, VFC Prevention Education Specialist
Violence Free Coalition
Ohio Department of Health
Ohio Domestic Violence Network
Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence
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