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How to talk to your child about mass shootings that happen in schools

Talking to your child about mass shootings can be hard, especially when the shootings are centered around the very place they spend the bulk of their time - school.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — How do you explain school shootings to your child?

Monretta Vega, a Psychotherapist at Huntsville Psychotherapist and Counseling Services Inc. says, "We want to start off by explaining emotions and allowing them to understand that it's okay to have emotions, whether they feel sad or confused and being willing to explain what those emotions are and give them effective ways to express them."

RELATED: Yes, there were more children killed in school shootings this year than on-duty law enforcement officers killed by gunfire

Huntsville Psychotherapist Monretta Vega also says to monitor the content they see.

"Then we also want to be mindful to limit the amount of news time and the amount of media time that children have because they're going to receive so much information. and as adults, we got to keep in mind how it impacts us."

RELATED: How can you talk with your children about mass shootings?

"Now we also want to allow the parents question to lead the conversation when we talk to them, because it's so easy for us as adults to want to explain and provide information that may give too much detail and cause them to be in a negative mindset."  

Vega also says to stick to routines with your children.

But what should you do when your child says they're afraid to go to school?

"Talk about it a little bit more and provide as much reassurance as you can, but then also allow them to express what they feel in a different manner. and that's understandable, you know, let's not invalidate their feelings because their feelings are valid."

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