Something Bad Happened: A Kid’s Guide to Coping With Events in the News


When children learn about something big and bad – even when they hear only bits and pieces – their brains get busy trying to make sense of it. Where did it happen? Why did it happen? And especially, will it happen again?

Something Bad Happened guides children ages 6 to 12 and the adults who care about them through tough conversations about national and international tragedies. The non-specific term “bad thing” is used throughout, keeping this a flexible tool, and so children are never inadvertently exposed to events their parents have chosen not to share. Fear, sadness and uncertainty about the “bad thing” all are normalized, and immediately usable coping tools provided.

For children and parents to read together, this one-of-a-kind resource by child psychologist and best-selling author Dawn Huebner provides comfort, support and next steps for children learning about troubling world events.


  • Introduction for parents and caregivers;
  • 1. Something happened;
  • 2. Brains in high alert;
  • 3. Calming your brain;
  • 4. Gathering information;
  • 5. Location, location, location;
  • 6. Identifying helpers;
  • 7. Understanding likelihood;
  • 8. Dealing with feelings;
  • 9. Self-care;
  • 10. Healing the world

Author Bio:

Dawn Huebner, PhD, is a Clinical Psychologist and Parent Coach specializing in anxiety. She is the author of 9 books for children Ten years ago, Dr. Huebner recognized the need for lively, easy-to-read materials to help children practice the cognitive-behavioural strategies they were learning in her office. She created a format effective for 6-12-year-olds – the What to Do Guides for Kids – which have now sold over a million copies. Her newest books maintain her distinctive clarity and gentle humour while adding a layer of sophistication appreciated by older children and teens.


‘In the digital age, children are often exposed without filters to tragic and disturbing news. We want our children to understand, stay calm, and be proactive. EVERY parent and child can benefit from the compassionate, practical, step-by-step guidance Dawn Huebner offers on how to make sense of the all-too-often upsetting event.’ – Mary Alvord, PhD, Psychologist, Co-author of Conquer Negative Thinking for Teens and Resilience Builder Program for children and adolescents.