Explaining tragedy to a child - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Explaining tragedy to a child

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Psychologists say although kids may not be talking about it, the recent events in Las Vegas can still be stressful to them.

Farlie Chastain suggests starting off the conversation by asking questions about what they have heard and answer any questions they might have. The conversation will be different based on age, but the overall message should be that they are safe at home and school.

Just like adults, children across the Tennessee Valley are left struggling searching for an explanation in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in modern United States history. “We don't want to create the unsafe feeling of all people are bad. There is a small portion of our population who do really horrible things. For the most part, you can see it in the people who jumped in and helped, people by and large want to help each other.”

Farlie Chastain, a licensed clinical social worker said it's normal for kids to ask questions at a time like this. He encourages parents to be honest. “The best way to handle it, is to talk about it. In a safe place. When we see things like this happen, the big thing it creates is a loss of safety.”

He said kids can experience a wide range of emotions, and that's normal. When talking with your kids about what happened, Chastain said it's important to tell them it's okay to feel whatever emotions they're feeling. “At our core, we are all human. When something happens. We feel it. We sense it. Certainly, could it happen here? Sure. Could somebody do something horrible in our own back yard, that's the thing that we know. So it makes it real and personal to us.”

Sometimes children may be more comfortable talking to someone outside of the family, like a teacher or a therapist.

Farlie Chastain urges parents to make those resources available if they're needed.

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