Helping kids cope with Las Vegas mass shooting - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Helping kids cope with Las Vegas mass shooting

MOBILE, AL (WALA) -

Wrestling with the emotions of the mass shooting in Las Vegas is difficult for everyone.  But what about our kids? How do we explain something like this? What are they going through and how do we help?
 
Brent Vance is the Child Advocacy Center's clinical supervisor. He says when talking to your kids one of them most important things you can do is listen.
 
"Allow them to talk.  To know and see where they're at cause a lot of times the children don't really understand what's happening.  Some of the younger children may think it's still continuing to happen over and over."  Vance says.
 
Most importantly, you want your child to know that they are safe.  Get a good picture of what they think and correct any troubling misconceptions they have.
 
Vancy says "Understand that bad things do happen sometimes, but there's a lot of good in the world too.  people that can help in those situations."
 
Some of those people are police, firefighters, and first responders.  If your child is younger you can describe them as sort of real life superheroes who are here to keep them safe.
 
"That's a good analogy we use a lot.  who are the superheroes in your life that can help protect you?  leads to a good conversation about that to help them feel safe so they know there are people there to protect them."  Vance says.
 
For older kids, especially teens, the impact one can have as a parent is tremendous.  Don't remain silent.  Start a conversation says Vance.  "It's better for them to have a good conversation with parents. A healthy conversation rather than have a negative conversation with friends and social media.  So it's real important for parents to talk about this issue with their kids and help process what's going on."
 
If you'd like more advice on having these difficult conversations or feel your child may benefit from counseling... helpful contact information is listed below:
 
The Child Advocacy Center
1351 Springhill Avenue
Mobile, AL 36604
Phone:(251) 432-1101
Fax:(251) 432-0330
info@cacmobile.org
 
Lifelines Counseling Services
705 Oak Circle Drive East
Mobile, AL 36609
251-602-0909
www.lifelinesmobile.org

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