Counselors offer advice when talking to children about Las Vegas shooting
REDDING, Calif. - Two Northstate counselors believe as news coverage of the Las Vegas shooting continues children may start to experience some form of trauma.
Markise Morrison, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for Wright Education Services in Redding said children of all ages can be affected by the disaster. Parents that are concerned should start the conversation depending on the maturity level of the child.
Morrison said most kids 7 years and older can comprehend what happened and have a full conversation. The first step is to let them know whatever feelings they have are normal and it is okay to feel scared, frightened or sad.
You also want to empathize with your kids and put yourself in their shoes and ask how you would feel. Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Ken Cockerill said the conversation would also be a good time to consider other local threats.
"This is also a good opportunity to come up with a family safety plan if your children are worried about things like fire, around here we have fires. So you say what do we do in an event of a fire, where are we going to meet?" said Cockerill.
Both Cockerill and Morrison said the conversation could also open the door to talk about safety in general with your children. Some kids may not talk at first about their feeling but there are some non-verbal cues of trauma for example they may start acting out at home or at school.
For tips more tips on talking to your children after a traumatic event visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) website.