Talking to your children about CT school shooting

GRAYSON COUNTY, TX -- Like President Obama said, innocence was lost Friday and many parents across the country are now struggling with how to explain to their children what happened at a Connecticut elementary school where dozens of students and several staff members were killed.

A local counselor we spoke to says the children directly involved in Friday's shooting will forever be scarred by this tragedy, but she says while the shooting happened hundreds of miles away what happened Friday will not only affect those children, but it could affect ours as well.

Parents everywhere, are struggling to explain the shooting to their children.

"You'll try and candy coat it as well as you can, but it's hard to candy coat anything like that," Christy Justice said.

Christy Justice says she thought the best thing to do was just tell her 12-year-old daughter the truth.

"She heard us talking about it so she told us she didn't understand what happened and we explained it," Justice said.

Counselor Rhonda Schroeder, with TMC Behavioral Center, says parents should explain Friday's events to children who are kindergarten age or older.

"I think that if you don't deal with it and face it then you are going to end up with some very traumatic events later on in life," Schroeder said.

She says tell your children they should always be cautious, but let them know they should not be afraid to continue their daily activities.

"If they're fearful everyday then they're never going to leave their house," Schroeder said.

Kathy Whisman says she hopes her 6-year-old granddaughter's spirit will not be wounded when she learns someone shot and killed students her age.

"Ihope that it doesn't cause her to be too fearful and that she'll be able to go ahead and go to school and be happy," Whisman said.

The hardest question parents may face is "why?".

Schroeder says the answer may be just as hard.

"Sometimes there are bad people in this world, and that this person has some severe problems," Schroeder said.

"We can't always explain why those things happen, and we have to do our best to try and stay safe and we just have to kind of leave it in the hands of God to take care of you otherwise," Whisman said.

Schroeder says use basic language to explain tragic events to your children and says if you have a hard time answering questions then seek a professional counselor for assistance.


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