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Experts offer advice for talking to kids about Texas school shooting

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 7:32 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - It’s a tough conversation to have with anyone, especially kids, as talking to children about events like a mass shooting isn’t easy.

School aged children and their parents may now be filled with anxiety after the mass school shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

“When something like this does happen, as a parent you really don’t have an option of not addressing it because your child’s going to try to understand it in a way that makes sense to them. So, you always should talk with them on their level using words that they would understand,” counselor Scott Riviere said.

Riviere is a licensed counselor that works exclusively with kids and adolescents. He said it’s normal for kids to get nervous or anxious with events like this.

Ali Broussard is a counselor for Solutions Counseling & EAP working with individuals and families of all ages. She said there are some things adults can do to help their kids to not panic.

“You want to first reassure them that they are safe,” Broussard said. “Let them know that they’re safe at school, what precautions they take at the school and then also letting them know that they’re safe at home.”

Both counselors agreed listening to your child’s feelings and concerns can also help when understanding what the child needs to cope.

“A lot of times instead of just trying to figure out what a kid needs it’s just better to ask,” Riviere said. “Like, what do you need from us right now that’s going to make you feel safe?”

They also said for parents to look out for warning signs and tell their kids if they see something off to say something.

“So, if they notice that there’s something off with another kid, letting a teacher know and a counselor know...and that child getting the correct help that they need,” Broussard said.

They said conversations can vary with kids of different ages so it’s important to make sure you address the topic in a way they can comprehend.

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