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How to Talk to Your Teen About the Vegas Mass Shooting

How to Talk to Your Teen About the Vegas Mass Shooting

Listening, watching, and reading the news this week about the Vegas mass shooting is heart wrenching. I am hearing people express fear to go out to public events here in Jacksonville. I hear parents say ‘nowhere seems safe these days.’ They are scared and rightfully so. No one deserves to live in fear though.

Teens may need some help managing their concerns about the mass shooting in Vegas. They will see things on social media, talk about it at school, etc. What they see and hear may induce unwanted fear. Seeing some of these images can be traumatic for kids. As parents we want nothing more than to keep our children safe. We want them to feel safe. A child may feel confused if they hear their parents or someone else say something like “We are not going to any more festivals!” It’s important that parents start a conversation with their teen letting them know that they are not in any specific danger.

Start a conversation with your teen by simply asking, “Have you heard about the mass shooting in Vegas?” “What do you think about it?” The best thing we can do for our kids right now is listen to them. Ask about and listen to their concerns. Ask them about how they feel about going to concerts and festivals. Does this event change what they think of people? Maybe your child is not scared but rather wants to know what to do those situations. Talk about solutions together. Let your child know that you are there to answer any questions they may have. Talk about the quick response of the first responders at the Vegas mass shooting and how they helped so many. Remind them all the people that work to keep us safe in Jacksonville and surrounding areas so that we can go out and enjoy fun places and events.

“Parents who are up front with their kids about these kinds of things, their kids tend to do better than parents who try to hide these things,” she said. “Talk about safety issues and what we do to keep our families safe, what we do to keep each other safe and what communities do to keep us safe.” – Vickie Nieto (Florida Parent)

Psychologist Robin Gurwitch says, “Help them understand that there was a shooting in Las Vegas and many families were out listening to music when somebody, for unknown reasons, started shooting people,” Gurwitch said. “And tell them that because the police responded so quickly [the suspected gunman] is no longer a threat.”

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