Say just enough, not more
Parents often think they need to give kids lots of information about difficult topics, whether it's a disaster or how babies are made. "Answer any questions the child has, but if your child asks a two-word question, give a two-word answer," Kazdin says.
Your child will let you know how much information he or she is ready to handle, Brown says.
"Say just enough so they're satisfied ... something like 'A plane crash happened and some people were hurt, but they're getting help,'" he says. "Be prepared to say more but take a cue from your kid."
When my daughter asked about it one day after the plane crash, that's how her other mom ended up addressing the issue. She made it clear that planes rarely crash and that the people who were hurt on the airplane were getting help. (She made no mention of the two teenagers who died that day.)
My child's response: "Maybe the pilot should go back to school to practice more." And then she was off to camp for another day of fun.