Tips on How to Talk to Kids about Guns

blog parenting Apr 24, 2021

After talking with a few parents & colleagues about my original blog post in 2016 that is now updated (“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. If you don't believe me, watch this video.

RELATED: How I Talk to My Children About Guns

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.

We have a rule in our home that my kids are NEVER to go into the house or garage of anyone I have not personally met. We had family meetings about this. They would run home to ask whenever this possibility would come up to talk to me first. 

I would follow up with following them back outside to walk over or find the family in the school directory so I could reach out.

My kids knew that was our rule because we talked about it. 

RELATED: How to End Gun Violence in the US

LISTEN TO THIS: How guns can affect families forever–StoryCorp: Gone with a Gunshot, His Little Sister Remains, Eternally 8

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, including using a matter of fact tone.

Download the FREE 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.

RELATED: Blood on our Hands

*A special thank you to the late Dr. Mandy Harris and Rebecca Cisneros for talking through this important topic and providing suggestions for the handout!


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