Host: Should I share my own thoughts and feelings about a school shooting?
Dr. Hayley Sherwood: Parents need to talk honestly about their own feelings regarding a school shooting, in order to help their child recognize that they are not dealing with their fears and other emotions alone. Children want and need explanation from the important adults in their life. When talking to your child, it is important to strive for a balance between helping a child feel safe and acknowledging that there is violence and danger in the world.
With a younger child you might begin a discussion by saying, I am very sad for all of those people and their families and ask your child what do you think about it? Explain, that it is important not to let what happened scare us so much, that we do not have fun and enjoy our life. An adolescent may or may not want to talk about the event. The older the child the more effective it is to talk about your own feelings first. If you express your own feelings of anger, sadness, fear, guilt and confusion it may help your teenager open up. 1