How to help your children understand, cope with tragedies

Adults, kids learning to cope with tragedies

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The mass shooting in Las Vegas controlled both local and national news all throughout Monday. And because of that, it can sometimes consume people's minds.

Social worker Elizabeth Ann Barling, said it's devastating news that is hard for anyone to grasp whether they’re young or old.

“He was a normal everyday guy that for whatever reason went out to kill people and you don't know who to trust anymore,” she said.

That's why Greg Adams, a program coordinator for Center for Good Mourning, said parents need to know how to talk to their kids when it comes to dealing with tragedy.

“If we think it's something they're going to be hearing about, then we don't want them to try to make sense of it by themselves," he said. "We want them to have adult guidance and support to make sense of it."

Adams said the first step is finding out how much your kid knows.

“If they haven't heard anything at all then that gives you the chance to think about what your child really needs to know about the incident,” he said.

He said don't expose them too much, but give the chance for discussion and guidance. He said their minds are still growing and they sometimes have trouble distinguishing how close or far something may have happened and they may feel unsafe.

“If you feel like they're old enough and mature enough and curious then we would want to watch those stories with them so we could talk about them and answer their questions,” he said.

He said kids need to know that this is not normal behavior and it's the parent's job to teach that.

“We want to teach children that most adults are safe and responsible and that they need to pay attention to adults and still respect them,” he said.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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