How to talk to kids about school shootings

Posted at: 01/14/2014 12:44 PM
Updated at: 01/14/2014 6:33 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It’s news like Tuesday’s school shooting in Roswell that hits close to home for parents across New Mexico and across the country. But how do parents talk about it with their child?

“The assumption is that kids are going to be exposed to it. They’re going to see this. They’re going to hear about it,” said Dr. David Graeber, a child psychiatrist at UNM. That’s why it’s best they hear it from their parents.

Remember – kids may or may not bring it up so Dr. Graeber said asking your child questions, instead of forcing them to talk, is the healthiest approach. “What did they hear? What do they think? You know, how are you feeling about it?” said Dr. Graeber.

For younger kids, keep an eye on the images they see. Over-exposure to a tragic situation can be too much for them.

When they do head back to the classroom, maybe a little nervous, remind them of the good. “Most people are good people and are caring people and you can talk about who’s in their and who’s in their life at school so again reassuring, being honest, but reassuring them because most school situations are quite safe,” added Dr. Graeber.