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How to talk to your kids about the Manchester bombing

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HARTFORD -- Monday night's bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England is a difficult subject to broach with children.

Dr. Laura Saunders, a psychologist at Hartford Hospital's Institute of Living, explained the best ways to speak with your kids about the bombings if they approach with questions. "The guideline I always use is just answer their question," said Dr. Saunders.

Dr. Saunders encourages parents to create safety plans with their children. "If you're in a grocery store, you always have a meeting point," explained Dr. Saunders. "If you go to the movie theater, you point out the exits."

She cautions parents against giving kids more information than they ask for, saying that simple, direct answers without emotional rhetoric are best. If children expresses fear or anxiety, she says to reassure them, but not make any promises.

"We can't promise that nothing bad will happen," said Dr. Saunders. "What we can do is say there are security checkpoints...The police and the FBI are trying their hardest to keep us safe."

Not answering questions or sweeping them under the rug can cause parents to lose credibility, according to Dr. Sanders. If a child asks what happened in England, she recommends the following response: "Some bad terrorists decided they wanted to hurt people, and they went to a stadium and they detonated a bomb, they blew things up."

For larger events, Dr. Saunders said parents need to recognize that they have no control, and the best thing to do is have a plan and not live in fear. "It's not easy in this day and age to be a parent, but we can't keep kids in a bubble," said Dr. Saunders.

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