Dr Michael Carr-Gregg Explains How To Discuss Traumatic Events With Your Kids

Following the tragic events of the Bondi Junction stabbing, B105’s Stav, Matt & Abby spoke with adult and child pyschologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg to get advice on how we should manage traumatic events within our own families and how to discuss traumatic events with your kids: How to answer their questions, guide them, make them feel safe and minimise exposure.

Dr Carr-Gregg says we should be at the forefront of the news, should validate our children’s feelings.

For younger children keep explanations simpler and concrete. For older children give a more detailed explanation. But beware the challenges of what children hear and how they react outside of the sanctuary of home.

“Your capacity to control the narrative goes out the window once they’re at schools. So I think it is up to you to give the key messages around safety, mental health component and the heroism of the police.”

Yesterday on Stav, Abby & Matt, the team heard from Shawnee Johnson, who was present at Westfield Bondi Junction on Saturday and was an eye-witness to the attack by Joel Cauchi that killed six people, left a dozen more needing hospital treatment, and caused various more minor injuries before he was shot dead by a brave police officer.

Processing such a brutal, senseless attack is hard enough as an adult. It is even more difficult to know the right way to approach discussing with children. Dr Michael Carr-Gregg has decades of experience leading dialogue with families and in sensitive areas so he is expert in how to discuss traumatic events with your kids.

It is natural for us to feel affected by the events of Saturday 13 April 2024 at Westfield Bondi Junction. If you need help or to talk, reach out to Lifeline on 13 11 14, or text 0477 13 11 14 or chat online at