Children Cope with Virginia Tech Massacre

By: Meredith Stancik Email
By: Meredith Stancik Email

The Virginia Tech Shootings have raised questions among children.
For most of them the massacre is the first during their lifetime.
Now parents and teachers are faced with talking about something that is new and frightening.

"Kids don't grasp exactly what happened and then they won't grasp exactly what will happen afterwards," Jessica Perry said.

The Bryan mom has already fielded several questions from her four-year-old.

"Discussing with them the possibility and bringing comfort to their little minds can be a tricky thing to do," Perry said.

Experts say there are certain ways parents should respond.

"Allow the children an opportunity to express their feelings whatever their feelings may be," Adam Saenz, a psychologist with Bryan ISD said. "Whether they are angry, fearful or sad, whatever it might be, the children need a safe environment to express those feelings."

Experts say validate their feelings, talk about your own, discuss safety plans for when they are at home and at school
and keep the conversation going.

For those children that are affected the most. Experts say watch for disruptions, like different sleeping and eating patterns, and changes in the way they socialize with others.

"We don't want to place a false sense of security with the child by giving them unrealistic expectations, but we want to focus on what families and schools are doing to keep children safe," Saenz said.

That in itself could keep these young children feeling better about a tragic situation.


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