Parents can reassure children by talking about Vegas mass shooting

Counselor explains how to talk to kids about Las Vegas mass shooting

In the wake of the Las Vegas shooting it's hard for people especially children to make sense of the tragedy. WZDX sat down with a counselor who encourages parents to have a conversation with their children. 

Lauren Self is a licensed professional counselor  for Cornerstone Counseling Center in Huntsville. Self said parents should discuss the Las Vegas mass shooting with their child, only if they are already aware of the situation.

"We want to be very calm when we talk to them about it, because if we show too much fear and anxiety they're likely to stop talking about it, so I think what we can say in a calm voice, 'this is scary' we validate their emotions," explained Self. 

Self said have a question-answer session. “Answer only the questions asked, don't try to over explain. What we don't want to do is to not answer their questions." 

It's okay if you don't have all the answers. 'I don't know' is always an answer, I think as parents we always feel like we have to arm them with as much as possible but we're not superheros,” Self said. “We don't always have the answers and I think it's also really important for children to see we don't always have the answers, I think it humanizes us as parents,” she continued. 

There are some topics to stay clear of. "Topics about motives especially related to political or religious with younger kids. You might have some teens or older children asking about that and if it does happen, what you can do is redirect to their own thoughts and feelings. 'Well why do you think someone might do something like that?"

Self said two major signs parents should watch for are: If your child shows a lack of interest in things they typically enjoy or if they can't stop talking about the tragic event. 

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