DENVER — With all of the frightening images circulating on TV, the internet and social media, many parents are wondering how to talk to their children about the Las Vegas shooting.
Dr. Larry Curry, a Denver therapist, said it’s important to ask kids what they know, and then talk about it.
He said don’t lie. Give them basic information, but not graphic details.
“Reassure them that things are going to be OK,” Curry said. “Reassure them that you’re going to be there for them. Help them to understand that while this is a tragedy, sometimes people do bad things.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests parents say something like this: “In Las Vegas, Nevada, that’s a city pretty far from here, there was a disaster and many people were hurt. The police and the government are doing their jobs so they can try to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.”
Then parents can respond to questions, reassuring the child that the shooter is no longer a threat.
But Curry said it’s important to limit how much time is focused on the tragedy.
“Sometimes too much information can be a little damaging for our emotional state and our state of being,” Curry said. “Take a break, get away from the screen, get away from all of the information.”
Sometimes kids can have trouble coping with this kind of tragedy.
Signs of that could include trouble sleeping, trouble eating, emotional problems, changes in behavior or physical problems such as a headache.
If you are concerned, call your doctor.