How to talk to your kids about the Connecticut shooting - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

How to talk to your kids about the Connecticut shooting

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SHERMAN, TX - As people across the nation struggle to make sense of the tragic loss in Connecticut today, many parents right here in Texoma are struggling with what to tell their kids.

Parents with school age children may be facing some difficult questions over the next few days, and experts say one of the worst things they can do is avoid talking about what's happened.

"You shouldn't have to worry about your kid going to school and something happening to them," said parent and teacher, Sina Couch.

The mass shooting in a Connecticut elementary school claimed the lives of several young children, leaving parents everywhere questioning the safety of their children's schools.

 "It makes you want to take your kids out of school and just," said mother, Marissa Impok.

"I think that parents too may find themselves being afraid because of this tragedy. Be careful about not passing that fear on to your children," said Psychologist, Paulette Pitt.

Doctor Paulette Pitt says parents should be ready to listen and expect some tough questions, and they can prepare by knowing how to answer according to their child's developmental age.

For example when dealing with elementary age children it's important to explain things in a very concrete way.

"That it was a bad accident and that those children and those adults they died, and explaining death too," Pitt said.

But how do you help your kids to feel safe at school after a tragedy like this?

Dr. Pitt says you should start by making sure they know and understand the school's emergency plans.

"Make sure that your children feel safe in executing those plans and that they understand what they would need to do in a situation like that and what the different roles are for people and give them a plan so they'll feel safe going back to school," Pitt said.

It's something Sherman Superintendent, Al Hambrick, says they do in all the schools several times a year.

"We have different type drills, there are lock down drills where our students are actually locked down in the school to keep them safe from something that may be in the school or outside the school," said Hambrick.

For more information on how to talk to your kids about today's tragedy visit the web site below. It's the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

http://www.nctsn.org/trauma-types/terrorism