My daughters, who are 7 and 8 years old, learned about 9/11 this past summer.

I wasn’t intending to talk about it just then, but it was a plot point in a book we were reading, and so we discussed it.

The girls learned that 16 years ago, bad men flew planes into buildings and a lot of people died. They learned that yes, Mommy and Daddy were alive when this happened, and we remember every moment of it. They learned that it was a scary and sad time for our country, and that we hope it never, ever happens again.

Fortunately, they didn’t ask the big Why questions, and I didn’t offer up any answers. I know we’ll get to those soon enough, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to share these stories with them one piece at a time. They asked if they were safe now, and I said they were, and then we went back to our book.

As I write this post, parents across the country are talking to their children about anything from 9/11 to hurricanes to constantly shifting, and often upsetting, political news. Here are a few ideas for how to have these conversations.

You can read the rest of this post over at my Mindful Parenting blog on