‘Someone I Love Got Shot’ author offers tips for discussing Texas mass shooting with children

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – Many parents may struggle to tell their children about the mass shooting in Texas that left 21 people dead at an elementary school.

Trouble sleeping, crying, and bedwetting can all be signs that the news may have triggered fears or anxieties in a child.

“I mean it’s definitely a lot of anxiety. I try to talk to my kids all the time to make sure they’re aware of what’s going on around them,” Memphis dad Chester Porter said.

Porter says it’s important to keep lines of communication open and that experts would agree.

Experts also say it’s also important to be honest about what happened when asking about incidents of violence.

“Let your children or your child know that you are there for them and that you are going to keep them as safe as possible,” Memphis Elementary School Counselor Pearl Bradley said.

Bradley has spent so much time talking to kids about dealing with violence that she’s written a book about it.

The book “Someone I Love Got Shot” helps children deal with their emotions in the face of violence.

Bradley says whether or not they know the victims, it can still manifest the same emotions for children.

“They cry a little differently. They can retire, they can come back at a younger age and time, so those are a few things you have to watch out for,” Bradley said.

However, not all children will react the same way.

As reports of violent incidents become all too common, Porter, who also works with children on a daily basis, has noticed another disturbing trend.

“Definitely numb, definitely, definitely numb to other people’s feelings,” Porter said.

Studies on desensitization to real-life violence are still in their infancy, but studies have shown a link to depression and anxiety.

Experts say watching the news with your child may be your best bet.

It’s also important to ask questions about what they heard and if they have any questions.

Look for signs that may have triggered anxiety, such as trouble sleeping, crying, or talking about being scared.

When kids ask you what happened, it’s important to be honest.

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Lola R. McClure