DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Ohio State University attack can be tough to explain to young children, especially since the violence happened so close to home.
Many times parents can be reluctant to talk to their kids about tragedy, but for kids in 3rd grade and up — most have already heard about it. Psychologists say not talking about it can make the situation worse.
First, find out where your child is getting the information. Whether it’s at school of through the news media. If possible, it’s best to get the information with them which might mean sitting next to them watching the coverage on TV.
Answer any questions, they have if you think they’re old enough to know. As for preschoolers and early elementary students most haven’t heard about it, but if you do have to explain leave out any disturbing details that aren’t age appropriate.
“The most important thing is to find out what your child already knows and to get some information about where they’re coming from,” Johnsen said. “What they’ve already heard and try to look for any themes in that. Sometimes you will pick up on kids feeling really unsafe or fearful. Sometimes they’re just really curious and then you can address that better if you’ve listened to where they are coming from.”
And for any parents with kids attending Ohio State, it can be tough for them to adjust. Miceli says after a few days if they’re still are having trouble getting back to their normal routine, seek help. Counselors are now available for all students, staff and faculty.