Local residents react to Connecticut shooting - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Local residents react to Connecticut shooting

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Friday night following a horrible shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut Michiana resident Pete Slivenski asked, "How in the world do things like this happen to our children?"  It's a question a lot of local residents are asking following the deadly shooting.  "These children go to school expecting to have a good time, play at recess, have lunch with their friends and go home to their mom and dad's and they're not gonna be able to do that today," said Slivenski.  Michiana resident Carl Moser said, "I can't imagine the hurt, I have five grandchildren myself.  It's gotta be very painful for the families."

Indiana resident Daniel Lewis said, "If this could happen at an elementary school it could happen anywhere."  Friday's shooting was especially scary for Lewis because his wife is a teacher at an elementary school in Carmel, IN.  "her and her peers at school are just...words can't even say how they're feeling," said Lewis.

To cope with those feelings, psychiatrist Helen Lin at Memorial Epworth Hospital said keeping a normal routine is key.  "A routine as normal as possible to get back into daily life will be important."  In the wake of this mass shooting that's even more important for children. But how should you talk to your kids about such tragic event?  The worst thing you can do is brush it aside.  "reassuring them they're safe and have open communication, last thing you want to do is shut them down," said Lin.  Explain to them that bad things happen, but you will do everything you can to protect them.

Dr. Julius Licata, Director of ParentCentral.net, a group that helps people cope, shared advice Friday on letting your kids watch news coverage of the shooting.  "If they are going to allow them to watch, parents should make every effort to watch it with them so they can explain and assure and be strength for them, don't allow them watch on t heir own."

Lin said it's ok to let your kids see your emotions,  "if the parents get upset, cry, that would be normal."

Lin also said that kids could be scared to go back to school on Monday and could experience separation anxiety from their parents.  If that happens she says again just reassure the kids they're safe, your safe, and you'll be there after school just like always.  If you're wondering what kind of behavior your kids may have after this shooting, Lin said they could have anxiety, they may not sleep well, have other behavior changes, and down the road they may even feel angry.  And if you or your kids need some extra help she says definitely take advantage of resources in the community. She said your pediatrician should be a good source for those resources.

Here are some online resources to help you talk to your kids after this tragic event:  Talking to your children about violence against kids , Parent Central, and Teen Central.

 

 

 

 

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