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How to Talk to Your Kids About School Shootings

How to Talk to Your Kids About School Shootings
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When a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut and killed 26 people, mostly young children, he changed the collective psyche of our nation. The grief of those who lost loved ones is unimaginable, especially when you consider how many young lives were cut short in a single community, and how many children will be forever scarred by what they witnessed that day.

Tragedy on this scale reaches far beyond the boundaries of a map. As our country mourns, parents everywhere are grappling with what they should tell their own children, even as they wrestle their own fears. No matter where we live, we can’t shield children from an event of this magnitude. Soon the round-the-clock coverage will end, but the ripple effect for parents and children all around the country has only just begun.

How should parents handle the issue of school shootings with their children? For insight into this emotional and confusing topic, Care2 turned to Ellin Bloch, Ph.D., California School of Professional Psychology-Alliant International University Los Angeles, who specializes in trauma psychology and recovery.

How to Talk to Your Kids About School Shootings: Q & A with Dr. Ellin Bloch

What are the long-term ripple effects of school shootings?

It may depend a great deal on how parents are handling this. When parents get tremendously anxious, the child will pick that up — and kids have big ears — they overhear conversations and have access to TV and social media.

Children of all ages may be anxious about returning to school. Older children have been exposed to other major events in recent years, including shootings in malls, movie theaters, etc., so the larger context must be considered. They may wonder if this can happen anywhere, leading to a feeling of uncertainty and lack of safety. It is important that parents handle this in a relatively calm manner.

Generally, the further away in geographical proximity an event occurs, the less the impact. There is not yet enough research regarding the long-term effect of these events in today’s age of instant and constant information access.

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5:15AM PST on Jan 19, 2013

All last 14 school shootings had ONE thing in common [something else than guns].
More data here
Please, support petition for proper investigation of school shootings.

1:42AM PST on Dec 24, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

3:42AM PST on Dec 23, 2012


1:09AM PST on Dec 23, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

4:56PM PST on Dec 22, 2012

tell her that the people who carry guns are terrorists and if you see any ask that the police shoot them and make sure they're dead

3:28PM PST on Dec 22, 2012

A family member is angry because the friend of his five year old told her about the Sandy Hook School shootings. The other little kid's mother had the news on all day long. It's his child but I wonder if that is too overproctive. It's not the type of thing that can be avoided for long. I wouldn't want my child to think I think they are incapable of handing facts of life.
My mother's father was murdered when she was nine. She told me about it when I was about three or four. It might sound harsh but it's our history. It made me love my mother more because I felt as if she confided in me and trusted me.

1:53PM PST on Dec 22, 2012


11:09AM PST on Dec 22, 2012


9:58AM PST on Dec 22, 2012

Thank you

9:56AM PST on Dec 22, 2012

It's hard enough as an adult to understant what has happened, let alone be a child and make sense of it all

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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