Conversations with Children

For most parents and educators, the question of how to talk to children about gun violence is daunting. Will our conversations ease children’s anxiety or increase it? The causes of gun violence are complex. Is there any way to help kids understand some of the root issues? 

Maybe the answer is simply no. There is NO easy way. Maybe the more helpful question is, would you rather your children talk to you about it or hear about it through the media or on the playground? 

We recommend that Christian educators address this difficult reality through open communication with parents and caregivers. We encourage the following steps: 

#1 Share the book list we’ve provided below. Encourage parents to begin this conversation at home. 

#2 Hold an open dialogue with parents BEFORE you lead a Sunday School lesson on this topic. We suggest that you approach the lesson as peace-making instead of gun violence. 

#3 Invite parents to the class. 

Finally, we recommend the book, Something Happened in Our Park: Standing Together After Gun Violence by Ann Hazzard, Marianne Celano, and Marietta Collins, Illustrated by Keith Henry Brown. All three authors are psychologists focused on children’s behavioral health; they bring expertise on how to be developmentally appropriate while discussing tough topics. See our resources below on teaching this story.