Experts offer advice on talking to children about mass shootings - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Experts offer advice on talking to children about mass shootings

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Police officers and medical personnel stand at the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Las Vegas.  (AP Photo/John Locher) Police officers and medical personnel stand at the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

The tragedy that took place in Las Vegas has many people looking for advice on how to talk about it with their friends, family, and especially children.

Just the sound of bullets pounding the pavement recorded on an iPhone are enough to send chills down your spine.

The images and pictures that have come from the tragic events that unfolded in Las Vegas Sunday night are graphic and disturbing.

It’s difficult to talk about it with one another but also with your children.

“Another tragedy as a result of gun violence,” said Dr. Laura Saunders, a psychologist at the Institute of Living.

In an era where technology is at everyone’s fingertips, it makes it difficult to escape some sort of anxiety.

“It is becoming more predominant and that’s a little scary for all of us, because it has such an unpredictable nature to it. However, if we focus on that it only increases our anxiety,” Saunders said.

She says it is difficult but people need to make some sort of sense of these tragic situations and come out with meaning.

“To connect with people around you, to find something positive because if we only focus on the negative and in the tragedies, it’s going to be hard to get up in the morning,” Saunders said.

So in times like this, there are things you can focus on.

“These are the times where we reconnect with our loved ones. We make sure we sit down and have dinner with our family. We tell the people around us that we love them, because we never really know what’s going to happen,” Saunders said.

You can also re-focus on your own environment and review your safety procedures.

“Especially for children to kind of shield children as much as possible from something like this it really is a very confusing thing for them because they have no control over creating safety in their environment,” Saunders said.

Saunders added that it’s also important to take breaks from all the information coming in so you can focus and not build up anxiety.

“Unfortunately for people in this state it certainly stirs up a lot around Sandy Hook. So, it’s trying to just reassure people. There’s a difference between assurance and promises. We can’t promise that bad things won’t happen but we can assure people that we will do our best to keep ourselves safe and that our police and fire officials do their best to keep us safe,” Saunders said.

If children do bring up questions regarding what they are seeing or hearing, Saunders said “bring the topic up. But wait for them to ask questions. That’s the indicator that they want and need more information.”

Saunders said no matter what your age, there is no shame in asking for help and you can find it by going to your local doctor.

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