COPING WITH CRISIS: Gun violence prompts open communication with children

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TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A school shooting is a parent’s worst nightmare.

“It’s one of our fears, as parents, to send our kids to school nowadays and not know that they’re safe,” said one parent.

But it’s sadly become a reality for many children in our country.

“I was scared for my life, nobody should go through this,” said one Santa Fe High School survivor.

School will be back in session for East Texas in just a few weeks. With the recent shootings in Dayton and El Paso, that killed 31 people, fear may be fresh on the minds of youth.

“A lot of people think if they just don’t talk about it, maybe it will go away, but that can actually kind of create more chaos for the child, they think it’s so bad, they can’t even discuss it,” said Jessie Morgan with Rays of Hope in Midland, Texas.

School hasn’t started just yet, but as you can see at most high schools in our area, extracurricular activities have, and your students might wonder if it’s safe to go to school, to the movies, or even Walmart.

However, they may not openly share their fears with a parent without some coaxing.

“With children, they need to feel safe and secure, so having these conversations in the home, before they’re exposed to it at the school-age or on the internet, or wherever they’re at is important and that allows you to also kind of guide what you talk to your children about,” said Morgan.

The conversations give parents and their children the ability to talk openly about the scary subject.

“Kids get so much exposure to social media that sometimes what they think they know is not factual, so it’s important to correct that,” said Morgan.

Talking with kids gives parents a chance to correct misinformation and empower their children to ask hard questions.

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