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Talking to your kids about traumatic events

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TYLER (KYTX) - Many of the victims family members are being treated for Post Traumatic Stress syndrome.

And with all the coverage from the shooting in Colorado, you may be wondering how to talk to your children about it.

Between nightly coverage in the news to everything you can find online, it's important you listen to your kids questions because it's likely many of them know what's going on.

And counselors say it could have a negative affect on all of us.

Dina Miley tries to protect her 11-year-old daughter, Alexis, every chance she gets.

"If she asks, we do tell her, we don't hide anything from her because if we do, you're just sheltering them from the world," says Miley.

Although Miley admits she hasn't gone over what all happened in Aurora, Colorado last week when James Holmes went on a shooting rampage.

But she says she would tell her all the facts.

"Just everything reported, this is what happened, person is going up in trial because of his actions," says Miley.

"Children look to us for safety, we need to provide them that," says Georgia Beard, a licenced professional counselor.

She says parents need to talk to their kids, but different age groups need different reinforcement.

"As parents, as caregivers, we are responsible for what our children see. We don't want them to be uniformed," says Beard.

Beard says for younger kids, don't let them see too much coverage. And you can show them where we are and where the danger is, so they know they're safe. Just reiterate they're safety and how rare it is this happened.

And for teens...

"Ask about what are their fears, is there something they're concerned about, do they think this might happen to them," says Beard.

Because, she says, fear of the unknown can lead to anxiety, even depression.

"Makes you stop and realize you do need to talk about these things because you never know," says Miley.

Beard says continuously watching coverage isn't just bad for your kids, it can cause a negative affect on your mood too, and can create fear that you may not realize.

You should encourage your teens to discuss the issue and remind them it's a rare occurrence, that they're more likely to be injured by drinking and driving than a violent attack like this.

 

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