The recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas has evoked many emotions — sadness, grief, helplessness, anxiety, and anger. Children who are struggling with their thoughts and feelings about the stories and images of the shooting may turn to trusted adults for help and guidance.
Today we talk with Kim Ludwig, LCSW, LSCSW, about how to talk to your kids and teens about this tragic event. Kim is the Director of Clinical Operations and a licensed clinical social worker at Research Psychiatric Center. Research Psychiatric Center treats adolescents and adults and offers behavioral health assessments 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can reach a mental health professional at (844) 207-4511.
9 Tips On Talking With Your Kids
- Start the conversation.
- Find out what your child already knows.
- Correct inaccurate information
- Encourage your child to ask questions, and answer those questions directly.
- Limit media exposure.
- Common reaction may include trouble concentrating or paying attention. Younger kids may want to be closer to you and may have trouble separating.
- Consider sharing your feelings about the events with your child/teen, but at a level they can understand. You may express sadness and empathy for the victims and their families. You may share some worry, but it is important to also share ideas for coping with difficult situations like this tragedy.
- Be patient. In times of stress, children/teens may have trouble with their behavior, concentration, and attention. While they may not openly ask for your guidance or support, they will want it. Adolescents who are seeking increased independence may have difficulty expressing their needs. Both children and teens will need a little extra patience, care, and love. (Be patient with yourself, too!).
- Extra help. Should reactions continue or at any point interfere with your children’s/teens’ abilities to function or if you are worried, contact your family physician, pediatrician, or our experts at Research Psychiatric Center.
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