GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The news of the shooting is hard to understand. It can be especially difficult for kids. We talked to experts to see how to have that conversation.
“I think we’re all feeling a little bit of helplessness and feeling overwhelmed by this,” said Dr. Greg Rodgers. He is charge of behavioral services for UW Health.
Tragedies, like the one in Texas, can be a hard topic for parents to talk to their kids about.
“It’s really important for parents to get grounded in the fact they can provide a sense of safety, they can provide an opportunity for kids to talk about how they’re processing this, how they’re feeling,” Dr. Rodgers said.
Dr. Rodgers says it is important to create a time and space for the conversation and to have it be distraction-free.
“Acknowledging that it happened and (you should) avoid leading questions,” added Dr. Rodgers.
He, and others, say it’s important to consider limiting social media or time on phones or the computer. Experts say it’s just as important to keep your normal day-to-day routine as much as possible.
Doctor Tiffany Brown with Bellin Health says if your kids are worried about it happening where you live, there’s a simple thing she does to help explain it to younger kids.
“It’s the difference between a possibility and a probability,” Dr. Brown said. “Using a pie chart, for kids that understand it, saying this really scary thing happened, but what’s the chances of it happening somewhere near here, and it’s a very, very tiny, maybe just a little sliver.”
She reminds parents it’s just as important to take time for themselves.
“Kids look to their parents for reassurance to see how scared they need to be, so having parents taking care of their own needs,” added Dr. Brown.
Doctors say keeping conversations to the point, and age-appropriate, remain the best way to talk about it.
The National Association of School Psychologists has lots of helpful tips for parents to have that conversation with their kids. It can be found here.