Experts advise parents on talking to children about mass shootings

How to have a conversation with kids about recent shootings

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - As families grapple with the country’s latest gun violence outbreak, experts say there is no right or wrong way to talk to children about mass shootings.

Mother of three Kenya Lacy said she talks to her children about their surroundings.

“If there’s commotion, you have to know what that commotion is because that could be something that risk your life,” Lacy said.

Lacy said talking about the threat of mass shootings and why they happen is a topic she can’t avoid with her three children.

"We have to realize that hate is real,” Lacy said. “We can’t sugarcoat the fact that people hate people based off of their color, their sexual preference their background age, gender.”

Lacy said if her children have to go to a public spaces she goes with them.

Amy Scholtz has three children between the ages of seven and 13. She said she tries to gauge what they can handle.

"I try to learn the details myself before gauging how to talk to them about it,” Scholtz said.

"I worry sometimes about other people around me,” said Scholtz’s’ 13-year-old daughter Emma.

For more suggestions on starting the conversation with your children click here.

Amy Scholtz said she talks to her children about what they can’t control in other people.

"We’ve talked a little bit about anger, hate,” Scholtz said.

Parents said there’s no right path for the conversation because there are some answers they still don’t have. "Why do we have to worry about something that small as to going shopping?” Lacy said.

A local child psychologist said comforting your children is one way to start talking.

Dr. Bryan Carter a clinical pediatric psychologist from Norton Children's Hospital said if you want to talk to your children about mass shootings find out what they already know.

Tell them it’s okay to be sad and upset and watch your actions, staying calm can help them cope.

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