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Dealing with kids’ anxiety after Uvalde shooting

Published: May. 27, 2022 at 7:38 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - As parents attempt to make sense of the tragedy in Uvalde, their kids may be struggling with how to cope with news of the shooting.

Annmarie MacNamara, Assistant Professor in Texas A&M University’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, joined First News at Four to share signs of anxiety parents should watch out for.

For any parents who are still hesitant to speak to their children about the deadly shooting, MacNamara says “it’s good to open the lines of communication to signal to our children that we are there if they want to talk.”

Of course, the conversation will only open up more questions and feelings, though kids might be hesitant to open up, so parents should be ready to read their child’s cues.

If they seem kind of down or angry, “you can do anything from just sit with them so that you’re there if they want to talk about anything, or maybe they just want a hug depending on their age and how much they’re ready to engage,” explained MacNamara.

Parents can also take a more direct approach and ask kids if they have any questions about their conversation.

For signs of anxiety in kids, MacNamara tells parents to trust their instincts.

For example if “you know [your child] is normally quite talkative but now they’re kind of shy or they’re normally very easygoing and now they’re kind of being angry or acting out” take notice.

Whatever is off from a child’s baseline is important to pay attention to because they may be struggling.

Watch the full interview in the player above.

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