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How to talk to your kids about tragedy following deadly Texas school shooting

The mass shooting at the elementary school in Uvalde, Texas gives parents another difficult discussion to have with their kids.

CLEVELAND — A senseless act like the deadly school shooting in Texas is difficult enough for adults, especially parents, to process, but explaining it to little ones may be a daunting task.

Even though we've done this story numerous times after each horrific news event, there's no doubt parents may feel overwhelmed and unsure how to talk about it to their children. 

Dr. Carolyn Landis is a pediatric psychologist at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital. She says parents need to pay attention to what their watching or listening too and keep tabs on the little ears and eyes near by.  

Don't push your kids to talk about it, let them start the conversation and then you can start by asking them what they already know.  From there, have an age appropriate discussion but stress to them that it's the adult's job to keep them safe and their job to be a kid.  Establishing roles can be helpful.

Pay attention to any behavioral changes you child may exhibit in the coming weeks.  Even those who may not want to discuss the event. It is not abnormal for kids and adults to experience a wide range of emotions after traumatic events, but if they begin to significantly impact quality of life or last longer than four to six weeks it's time to seek help.

Parents can start by reaching out to the child's pediatrician or a child psychologist. 

Mental Health is taking center stage in discussion after two mass shootings within two weeks. The pandemic has shined a very bright light into mental health concerns regarding young people and many experts believe that could be the next pandemic we face. Dr. Landis took part in an episode of Health Yeah! With Monica Robins podcast to delve deeper into the issue. 

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