School shooting: What should you tell your kids? - KMSP-TV

School shooting: What should you tell your kids?

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Friday's mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school will be hard for kids and adults alike to understand. Friday's mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school will be hard for kids and adults alike to understand.
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For many, the idea that Connecticut elementary school kids were not safe in the one place they should have been is very disturbing.  One child psychologist told the FOX 5 Medical Team that children are going to be frightened and confused by this tragedy, just like their parents.  So, what should you say to your child?  

Dr. Nadine Kaslow, a child psychologist at Grady Memorial Hospital and professor at Emory School of Medicine, says helping kids made sense of the tragedy is going to be hard because what has happened is wrong on so many levels.  
 
Dr. Kaslow says children are going to have a lot of questions, and how you answer should be based on the child's age level.  What should you say if your child asks, "Could this happen to me?"  

Kaslow says for younger kids, it's probably easiest just to say no.  But as they get older, they won't take no for an answer.  They'll ask questions about how it might happen to them, and unfortunately there are no guarantees.

Going back to school on Monday may be tough, especially for younger children who may be afraid.  Kaslow says your child's teacher may also be suffering, and it will be tough for everyone.  But, she says that when things are hard, it's best to take them on instead of avoiding them.  

Kaslow recommends that parents of younger kids may want to limit the amount of media coverage their kids watch on the tragedy, but that's harder to do with older children.  If you have older kids, Kaslow says you may want to watch the news coverage with them, and then ask them what they think and discuss it with them.

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