Another School Shooting; What Do You Say To Your Kids?
Counselors at the Central Wyoming Counseling Center in Casper say, first of all, don't avoid the subject. Kathy England, with the Therapeutic Family Care Program says tell the truth.
"Children are going to hear about it. They're gonna hear it at school. They're going to hear it from their friends. It's not going to be information that can be kept from children and so the first thing that parents have to do is answer their children's questions honestly and directly."
England says it'll frighten children more if they think their parent is keeping something from them.
Susan Kates is director of the Therapeutic Family Care Program at CWCC and she says hearing it at home will hopefully help them to feel safe when they return to school on Monday, "and I think it's important for parents to talk about safety in school and what is the plan if something were to happen. What is your safety plan?"
England suggests it may help to express some of the emotions that come up by writing a sympathy letter to the school involved or reaching out to children in need here in our own community.
"It takes a little bit of the focus off of the loss people are experiencing and lets children not feel quite so helpless."
Finally, Kates suggests that on Monday morning, walking into the school with your child and spending a little time there could help reassure your child that the school is a safe place to be.