How to Talk to Your Kids About Traumatic Events

Parenting expert Dr. Robyn Silverman explains the best ways to approach traumatic subjects with kids and teens.
3:31 | 07/18/14

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Transcript for How to Talk to Your Kids About Traumatic Events
Welcome back to "Gma." We've been covering the plane crash and we know that means a lot of kids will be exposed to difficult images on 5-alarm or social media so wanted to bring in Dr. Robyn Silverman for guidance and let's start out with older kid, especially, we can turn off the TV but they're on Twitter and Facebook. What do you do about it? Right, to think that we can turn off the TV and the kids are not going to see it means we're in the dark. So make sure your teen knows if you're curious and you're seeking out the images or you see images that are disturbing or concerning, please come to me. Understand that when you come to me we can sit down and talk about it. I can answer questions and we can also go to credible news stations and find out what's really happening. So that's with the older set of the I keep thinking at your sweet girl Harper who is here. George's daughter has been in the studio with all morning long and sometimes she comes from time to time and think about that age group. How do you talk to them. I have a 4-year-old and 5-year-old so that's really poignant for me, as well. Young children, we need to think of three things. The first is the words we choose. They need to be age appropriate. They need to be short and sweet and we need to answer the questions. Make sure you're underscoring safety. Number two, your voice. Make sure it's calm. Kids are going to react to your reaction so make sure that you're not echoing the emotion of the story in the same way you would with a friend and finally, be there for them. Understand that these kids need to know that after the conversation closes, the door remains open for future conversations. Only give them as much information as they want. Answer the question and keep moving. You're not talking to a friend. You're talking to a young child. So hard to explain it. I mean, there is no explanation that a 9-year-old, I think of my daughter Kate or my son can wrap their heads around. I know you're telling us what to do. It's how to find the right words is what causes me anxiety. Some children are going to be really anxious and understand that if they're extremely anxious make sure to bring those words down, answer the questions just as they ask them. Yes, the plane went down. Yes, there are people who died. Yes, we are doing everything we can, the adults who are in charge, are doing everything they can to make sure that they address the problem. What about limiting social media. Just keeping them off their devices because there are so many other images that show up that we would never want them to see. You know your child best. So if you know your child is prone to those nightmares, you know your child gets extremely anxious, tell them, this is for your own good but understand it's very hard to limit media. Oh, I know. You don't have to tell me that. Make sure they're media savvy and you are there for them to help them understand what's really going on. Final thing here, Robyn, about flying. I was at L.A.X. Seems like a couple of hours ago. There were some anxious parents with their children. What do you say if your child is anxious now about flying. Right, they need to know this kind of incident is extremely rare, that this is not the typical and that everybody is doing what they can to keep everyone as safe as possible. If your child needs more information, show them how planes work, have them talk to a pilot friend. Understand that you are there for them, you love them and everybody is doing what they can to make sure those children are safe. Good advice there. As always. Thank you, Robyn. Out to ginger in central

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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