DALLAS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — So many of us are struggling for answers about the Las Vegas shooting. How can something like this happen and why would someone want to do it? Answers can be even harder to come by when children are the ones asking the questions.
There are no easy answers for the horrific shooting massacre. But there are some answers to consider explaining to children about a world that isn’t as safe as we’d like them to believe.
“I try and shield her from as much of it as I can,” said Amanda Kazimi. Parents like her everywhere are perplexed. How do you explain the Las Vegas tragedy to children? While the mass shooting is the reason the flag outside Wycallis Elementary School is flying at half-staff, Robert Coursen said it’s no reason to discuss the massacre with his young daughter. “I’m not telling her anything. Yeah nothing, nothing at all. She doesn’t need to know that. She’s only five. She does not need to be aware of that at this point in her life.”
While it is best to avoid the subject of Las Vegas with kindergarten aged children, older children may have questions that deserve answers. That’s the predicament for parents like Mrs. Kazimi whose oldest daughter is in second grade. “I kind of feel, like, even at seven it’s just too much for them to comprehend what’s going on.”
Summer Krochta, the Director of Crisis & Residential Services at Children’s Service Center in Wilkes-Barre, said “When they come to you with questions don’t just give them, you know, a wealth of information.” She recommends answering kids’ questions with questions of your own. “Ask them, you know, well what have you heard? What are you curious about? What do you want to talk about, you know, and relate it to specifically the questions that they have.”
She said acknowledge bad things do happen, but emphasize measures are in place to protect them. “And reassuring them that there are so many precautions that you know these events do happen safely. It’s just really unfortunate that sometimes they don’t.”
Ms. Krochta suggests tragedy can be a teachable moment for impressionable, young minds. “It’s very important to encourage that, you know, we do the good thing, we do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.”
It’s the only way for some parents to help make sense of senseless, violent acts. Mrs. Kazimi said, “They’re going to face a lot of it in their lifetime so as long as we’re raising them to know that they could make a difference and be the good part of it, that’s the best hope we can give them.”
Ms. Krochta says limit children’s exposure to the news so that they won’t relive the horror of the tragedy every time they see it. She also recommended monitoring their activity on line to shield them from even more exposure.
Experts say watch your children for sudden changes in their behavior. If you notice something is wrong, have a conversation with them and let them know they have a safe person to talk to.