From the death of Robin Williams to crises in Iraq and Ferguson, Missouri, recent headlines seem to have been dominated by disturbing news, graphic images and troubling violence.
Through social media and peers at school, children are more exposed to these stories than ever before. Therapists say exposure to tragic stories on television and online can cause children to question their own safety.
Aline Mays-Easley, a therapist at the Southeast Alabama Child Advocacy Center, says it's essential to reassure your kids that they are safe.
For older kids, she says tough questions about war, race, and suicide among other topics, can lead to lessons in empathy and compassion.
Some parents say those moments present a chance to strengthen a relationship by learning how a child processes an event.
Mays-Easley emphasizes the importance of calming kids' fears, stimulating their minds, and encouraging them to think about their place in today's complicated, sometimes tragic world.