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Suggestions for Parents - Mass Violence Incidents

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2018
1 page

This "tip sheet" from the National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center presents and briefly discusses suggestions for parents in guiding and modeling behaviors and interactions with their children in the aftermath of victimization or indirect exposure in a mass violence incident (MVI).


The first of nine suggestions for parents is to accept rather than suppress the anxiety, confusion, and anger that is inevitably associated with exposure to a MVI. The tip sheet then suggests that parents access their own adult support as a resource for them to assist their children. Parents are also advised to model good coping methods for children to observe and imitate. Parents should express to their children a sense of protection and safety. When children ask their parents questions related to the causes, casualties, and reactions to the MVI, parents should frame their answers to the developmental age of the child. Common questions children ask in the aftermath of a MVI are listed in the tip sheet. Answers provided by parents should be factual. Children's viewing of the television coverage of the violence should be limited to occasions when parents can be present to address their questions and concerns; however, it is also therapeutic for parents to limit their own TV viewing.