SALISBURY, Md. - With a tragedy like the mass elementary school shooting that rocked our nation Friday, one of the most difficult questions a parent could ask themselves is: "How do I explain this to my child."
WMDT sat down with local psychologist, Dr. Leslie Donnelly, who has tips for parents on how to address this.
"Parents want to reassure that they're safe at home, they have a structure, they have a routine, and that the schools are doing the best they can to keep them safe," said Dr. Donnelly.
She also says if your kids don't ask, they're better off not knowing about it. However, if they do ask, she says a child's first instinct is that they did something to cause it, or that those involved did.
"I think it's very important to reassure the children that you did nothing wrong, the children in the classroom did nothing wrong, the teacher did nothing wrong, this man was very sick," she said.
Dr. Donnelly also says that a traumatic incident can stick with children through adulthood, but can be prevented through therapy.
One method she suggested is called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), which can only be done with a counselor. She says its a natural, proven way to help the child remove any past images or thoughts of fear they may have.
For more tips on how to talk to your children, click on 47 weblinks, on our home page.