Patience. What we do, of course, depends upon the age of the child. But certain principles are constant. Be truthful. Reaffirm that you are doing everything in your power to provide a safe environment. Emphasize that the circumstances are very unusual and rarely happen. Help them think of the positive things in life. These strategies help.
Reality and Reassure. We have to be willing to acknowlege that difficult and tragic things happen, especially with older school age kids and teens. At the same time, we assure them that these are rare events that become big news, and this makes it seem like they happen more often than they really do. As caring adults, we need to show kids that we are doing everything we can to provide them with a safe environment.