Advice for parents on how to talk with kids about school shootings

Written by on May 25, 2022

Advice for parents on how to talk with kids about school shootings

By Brittany Sweeney
May 25, 2022

First, parents need to know what their children are capable of understanding. (Photo | Pexels)

Following Tuesday’s school massacre in Texas, parents may be left wondering how to address horrific situations with their children.  

A Lehigh Valley psychologist talked about what parents should be doing in the wake of this tragedy.

Listen to the story.

Parents need to know their children’s developmental level, what they’re capable of understanding, and use simple, calm language, according to Dr. Dennis Geiger, a psychologist and board member at the National Alliance on Mental Illness of the Lehigh Valley (NAMI).

It’s important to address that the shooting happened and that children were hurt, Geiger said. 

“What parents can do is to ask questions, you know, ‘what do you know about it?’ And, then respond accordingly to what they’re telling them,” Geiger said. “We need to reassure the children that they’re safe, that most people in the world are good people, kind people, trustworthy, but there are some bad people, and they do dangerous things at times.”

Physical comforting, like hugs, goes a long way, regardless of the age group, he explained, and engaging in normal activities and play also helps them feel more at ease and secure.

The Allentown and Bethlehem Area school districts also posted notes online to address the situation with their communities.

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