KUSI Talking to Children About Tragic Events & The Las Vegas Shooting

Kristin Moorehead-Malley, Licensed Mental Health Therapist & Owner of SAGE Therapy Center provided KUSI viewers some tips on communicating with children about tragic events and the Las Vegas shooting this morning.  For those who missed the interview this morning, please see some of the tips below.

Important things to remember for all ages:

~ Answer questions honestly and age-appropriately

~ Reassure them that they are safe verbally and through physical contact such as sitting close or holding them

Elementary school aged kids

~ Speak simply

~ Limit media exposure about the event

~ Give examples of ways they are safe – such as by locking doors at home or gates being locked during school

Middle school aged kids

~ Listen and let their questions guide how much information you give

~ Help separating reality from fantasy

~ Acknowledge their feelings and let them know that however their feeling is ok

High school

~ These children will usually want more information about the tragedy and will have opinions about what happened and how to make things better

~ Listen to their opinions and to help empower them with ways they can help

For All Ages

~  It is important to remember that some kids may not express concerns verbally – so pay attention to changes in behavior, eating or sleep

~  If concerns continue about anxiety or going out in public, considering seeing an expert in child therapy.