How to talk to your child about school shootings

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The Uvalde school shooting that killed 19 students and two adults is difficult to understand for grown-ups.

But it’s even harder for children to grasp.

A child psychologist at Lee Health said it’s better to speak to children about what’s happening before they begin to learn about it on their own.

The question is not if you should have the conversation, it’s how.

Deyanir Helt, a Lee County mom, said she hesitated before taking her fourth-grader to school on Wednesday in the wake of the mass shooting.

“I usually drop her off and drive through. Today I got out of the car and I just walked with her and the other parents we were looking at each other like you never know if this is the last day you were going to see your child,” Helt said.

Helt worries as she watches the images on the news. Her little girl sees them too.

“She did ask a bunch of questions and now she is like ‘Mommy why is this happening so often? Why?’ So what should I say,” Helt said.

Dr. Fracnes Sanchez-Duverge, a pediatric psychologist at Golisano Children’s Hospital, said parents should check in with themselves first and make sure they are OK emotionally before talking to their children.

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