Counselors give recommendations for talking to children about sh - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Counselors give recommendations for talking to children about shootings


Mass shootings have happened in the past few months at places ranging from schools to concerts.

These acts of violence have become an unavoidable topic.

It may be daunting to discuss this with children.

But Sioux City East Middle School Counselor Gail Haight says it is important.

"We have evacuation drills, we have fire drills so why not have conversations with the children about - with not a lot of detail - what would we do if we encountered a situation of violence?" said Haight.

You can begin the conversation by asking a few questions.

"Have you had a disaster drill? Have you had an evacuation drill? Why does your school have that? Because I'm certain that the teachers in those classrooms have that conversation of why we need to have those drills." said Haight.

Talking can proceed from there.

First listen to what your children already know and validate what is correct.

"It's very important that we're honest with our children, that we listen to what they know and give them only the details that we think that at that time they will understand." said Gail Haight, Sioux City East Middle School Counselor.

Children may also be exposed to the violence through social media.

Haight says it's important to keep track of what they are seeing.

"If parents are more diligent about monitoring their children's phone usage - it's for safety reasons and it's very important." said Haight.

Overall, emphasis that these are isolated incidents.

"Our world is a good place but there are people in our world who do bad things and we need to be prepared." said Haight.

You can find more information at the websites for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network or the American School Counselor Association.

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