Talking with kids during tragedies - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

Talking with kids during tragedies

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- As you have witnessed and are no doubt feeling, Friday is a very tragic day, and not just for those in Newtown, Connecticut.

It is difficult for any of us to comprehend the events of Friday morning, so trying to explain it to our young children is even more of a challenge.  The mental anguish for children sitting at home with their parents watching this all unfold is unimaginable.

It is a difficult conversation to have with a child, how to deal with the emotions following a tragedy such as this. Whether they were there at the time or just watching it on the news, everyone is affected by this one way or the other. The important thing to keep in mind is that kids will have questions and starting the conversation is crucial.

"If the parents start talking about it, that tells the kids it's OK to talk about it," said licensed marriage and family therapist David Jamison of the Marriage and Family Wellness Center in Rochester. "If the parents don't talk about it, that sets up a 'don't talk' rule and then the kids won't talk about it with mom and dad. So, if mom and dad introduce it, then that says to the kids it's OK to talk about it."

Parents may have a hard time dealing with a shooting like this as well and it is important for them to deal with their feelings as well as the feelings of their children.

Click here for resources for parents on helping kids cope with tragedy.

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