Transcript for How to talk to kids about mass shootings
Welcome back to "Gma." We have now had three deadly pass kerrs in this country in just over a month and so many families are trying to figure out how to talk to their children about it. I know. I mean as dulls we're grappling with it as well but I can only imagine when you have children and joining us now is Ericka souter the editor of mom.me and our good friend Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo -- Janet Taylor, as well. Many readers prefer to not to have this discussion. How can you not when probably they already know. The natural inclination to shield them from these frightening, terrifying things that are happening but a lot of parents telling us kids as young as 5 or 6 are picking up the information on playgrounds from older sibling, from social media or media so it's important if your kid does know something, find out what they know and dispel any misinformation that little kids can have and ensure that they're going to be safe. That it will be okay. Dr. Taylor, what advice do you have for how parents should start this conversation. As Ericka said, you want to check in with them at an age appropriate level. Use open-ended questions like how and what to ask them if they want to talk and to foster a conversation about their safety and what to do if they don't feel safe. Janet, you and Ericka are both mothers and so, Ericka, I ask you what conversation, what have you told your child. Well, you know, I've had to talk to my 9-year-old about both incident, in fact, the attack in lower Manhattan is right in our backyard. We live down there and he was at school at the time and he didn't do a full lockdown but a drill and pulled all the kids from the playground and made sure none were outside. There were helicopters swirling and police around. He wondered what is going on. I had to tell him what I knew which wasn't a lot at that point but something very bad happened. People were hurt T caught the bad guy and he asked, well, why did he do this. I didn't know at the time and that's okay. We don't have to have all the answers and kids don't need to know every single detail we know but need to be reassured the bad guy was caught and the police are there to help and protect us. If they stop asking questions you can move on. What makes it so difficult it is happening in place tass are supposed to be safe. It's happening in church, on a bike path. Happening in school. Yeah, I mean we all feel threatened frl we're living in a volatile uncertain world and certainly in the United States so the same anxiety we feel ourselves our children feel. I have older children and they live in New York, I'm living in Florida now. I called them in a panic like don't go to chamber street. So the fact is we have to manage our stress, understand that overall most of us are safe but really do what we can to give support to other people. Give support to ourself, ask for help. Do we let our kids know we're feeling that anxiety and stress. You absolutely have to because, number one, kids need to be able to understand that if they feel a certain way, it's not bad to be upset. It's not bad to be angry, but what's most important as you express it so it doesn't come out in ways that hurt other people. We have to stop hurting other people. You both know that children are so resilient but, Ericka, what do you do if you see that your child is showing some ill effect signs from all that's happening? Right, well, parents shouldn't be afraid to ask for extra help especially if your child is it extra anxious perhaps if they don't want to go to school or are uneast so around crowds. There are pediatricians to help and maybe your church pastor can step in and help. Great resources for parents and should really use them. Upstairs to ginger. Here we are with a crowd of
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