FSGC says it’s important to talk to your children about current events
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -The Texas school shooting left many families with tears and trauma.
Topeka’s Family Services and Guidance Center says parents should prioritize conversations about current events with their children.
“Parents, when they are thinking about talking to their kid, about what’s going on, what we are seeing in the news and media and what’s going on in the world, what we say is important, but how we say it and the atmosphere is even more important,” said Jenni Watson.
Watson with FSGC says there is no perfect script when describing school-involved shootings, but creating a safe environment is key.
“It’s a culture of safety, it’s a culture of openness, being allowed to ask tough questions without big reactive responses that feel scary or overwhelming,” she said.
She says having these conversations early can also be the difference between life and death.
“When you are out and about in the community, when you are at those ball games when you are out at the grocery store, have those conversations, ‘hey if we got lost from each other, if you heard a scary sound, what would you do?’. Actually putting yourself in those real life situations in hopes you never have to face it in real life,” Watson explained.
Watson says all children, no matter the age, may have a traumatic response.
“Infants, babies, can have stresses or responses to trauma, they may not have the words for it.”
Parents can watch for signs a child is having trouble.
“Look for signs of substance use, signs of any self harming behavior or comments of death and dying out of curiosity are always big red flags, pay attention to eating and sleeping schedules.”
Watson says cutting down screen time where kids can see coverage of the events, also can cut down on stress.
“In my opinion, they don’t need to know that stuff. Kids brains and their development and their understanding of the world is much closer to home, they have a much harder time looking at a bigger scale,” she said.
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