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209: "I'm Scared All the Time:" How to Talk to Your Kids About Gun Violence

Image provided by Dulcey Lima via Unsplash

Gun violence in schools is a hard topic for parents and guardians to handle — but not talking about the reality of gun violence in the US isn't a solution. You, the listeners, have been writing in with your concerns, which included things like the following:

  • "If I bring up gun violence to my kids, aren’t I just making them more afraid?”
  • "Should I play the news in front of my child?"
  • "My kindergartener is obsessed with “keeping us safe from the bad guys." What should I do?"
  • "My teenager is constantly anxious without her phone, how do I handle that?"


  • "I’m 15. I’m scared all the time, not just at school. How do I talk to my parents?"

Nancy Kislin, LCSW, an expert on school lockdowns and children's anxiety related to gun violence, joined hosts Kelly and JJ to answer those questions. Listen in to learn concrete ways to handle these tough conversations.

Want to get involved?
Urge your senators to expand and strengthen background checks.
Join a Brady chapter near you and sign up to attend our new volunteer session.

Further reading:
School Shootings Are Raising Anxiety and Panic in U.S. Children (Time)
Many children are regularly exposed to gun violence (NPR)
The Impact of Gun Violence on Children and Adolescents (KFF)
How Can I Help My Anxious Child Feel Safe After Mass Tragedies in the News? (Parents)

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