How much should I tell my kids about scary world events?

One of the hardest parts of parenting in 2022…

Not just dealing with the reality of what is happening, but trying to figure out how to, or if you should, and if you should - then how much to, tell your kids about what’s going on.

Always pair the big-scary with actionable steps that make your kids feel like they can make a difference.

There's no perfect right answer for how much to share with your kids about the big and scary things in the world.

Lots of times - you don't even have a choice. They hear it. They know it.

But if you are given the opportunity for this decision - here are the three questions I want you to stop and ask yourself.

  1. Does it serve your kiddo to know this information, and on what level? Knowledge for the sake of knowledge is not always healthy.

  2. Can they do anything about it? Can they take action? Is there any measure of control they can exercise?

  3. Do they need to understand your behavior better? Maybe you've been distracted or emotional, and it would increase their security to know why.

Anxiety rates in kids are rising.

Is anyone really surprised?

My biggest rule of thumb for parents when talking to their kids about big scary world events -- wars, shootings, hurricanes... pair the (developmentally appropriate) information with action items.

For example:

A young kid I know was scared about being shot after he heard about the Uvalde shooting. He was concerned about the safety of his neighborhood & about bad guys.

We talked about what kinds of things might make a neighborhood safe, & how he could help. I couldn't tell him bad things never happen. But we could talk about his fears and figure out what could help make things a little better. We talked about the idea of good & bad. What might make fewer people want to do bad things?

We talked about community. Getting to know neighbors & about helping folks. We branched out to lots of different ways that building community makes things better. He ended the conversation with a sense of control, even in his relatively small world.

That feeling of being able to make his own little piece of his world better and safer is REALLY important in feeling like he can manage big and scary news.

June 30th - 4pm pacific

30 minutes (recorded so you can get it later)

Giving parents tools to help their younger kids (12ish and under) who struggle with things like:

social anxiety, non-medical stomach aches, trying new things, fear about big world events, and more.

Register Here

June 30th - 5pm pacific

30 minutes (recorded so you can get it later)

Giving parents tools to help their teens (13ish and up) who struggle with things like:

School & social anxiety and pressure, fear of adulting or getting older, fear about big world events, and more.

Register Here


Roya Dedeaux is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with several decades of working with teens and their families. She especially loves to work with homeschoolers and folks who feel like they don’t quite “fit the mold.” She is also the author of Connect with Courage: how to release fear and find joy in the places your kids take you. Check out her work, webinars, games, and other projects at

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