After talking with a few parents & colleagues about my last post: “Kids and Guns: It’s about Child Safety” it became clear that a follow up post was needed. While playdate cards help parents talk to other parents, what resources are there to help non-gun owning families talk to children about guns?
S0, how do you start the conversation with your child if you live in a gun-free home? When should you bring it up? Will talking make a child curious? Yes.
Children are curious about EVERYTHING.
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As parents, we talk to children about looking both ways before they cross the street. We talk to them about buckling up whenever in the car. We talk to them about not talking to strangers.
Talking to children about what to do if they ever find a gun or weapon in a friend’s home is just as important. Guns in US homes are common. Reasons vary for keeping guns & weapons: work, recreation or personal protection.
It is important to help your child be prepared to know what to do.
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This handout*summarizes some key things for parents to think about before and during talking with children about guns and other weapons. It gives some suggestions on how and when to start the conversation. It also gives parents a reminder to use a matter of fact tone.
Review this handout. Share with your partner, spouse, family, friend. Then talk to your children about guns/weapons. It can help keep yet another child safe from gun violence.
And remember, talk to other parents about guns/weapons in their homes before sending your child over to play. They will not be offended.
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*A special thank you to Dr. Mandy Harris and Rebecca Cisneros for talking through this important topic and providing suggestions for the handout!