Mental health experts at Crittenton advise parents to ask kids about Florida shooting

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Seeing video of scared children running from school during the Florida school shooting Wednesday can cause some children to feel anxious and afraid.  

Marcia Weseman, Ed.D, is a child trauma expert and Manager of Community Programs and Prevention at Saint Luke's Crittenton Health Center. She advises parents to ask their children, of all ages, how they're feeling after seeing the deadly shooting.

Weseman said parents can help children feeling anxious or afraid in several ways: 

  • Ask children how they're feeling.
  • Remind children their feelings are important.
  • Reassure children that their feelings matter, they are part of a family, and you as a parent are doing everything in your power to make sure they're safe.  
  • Maintain a normal schedule for your children.
  • Spend extra time with your children so you're available if they want to talk and so parents can observe their children to see if they're okay.

"Parents have to remember that a kid's emotional state is influenced by their parents," said Weseman.

So, if parents are nervous and anxious about the Florida school shooting, Weseman would recommend the parent take a deep breath and find a way to calm down before talking with their child about the shooting.

Weseman said allowing children to talk about their feelings helps them feel safe.

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