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How to talk to your children about the Newtown shooting

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - As a parent, trying to explain a tragic shooting like what happened in Newtown may be difficult. ABC 4 wants to give you some advice on how you can talk to them if questions come up.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - As a parent, trying to explain a tragic shooting like what happened in Newtown may be difficult. ABC 4 wants to give you some advice on how you can talk to them if questions come up.

Stephanie Jacobsen from West Jordan thought it was important she teach her five boys what happened.

"They were pretty upset. They first said - What if that happened at our school, what would we do? So we talked about it for a minute. We talked about some safety issues and some things that they could do," said Stephanie Jacobsen, West Jordan mother.

It's exactly what Psychologist Douglas Goldsmith recommends other parents should do too.

"We got to keep clear with our kids that this happened in another city and it's horrible but out of hundreds of thousands of schools across the U.S. this was one school, you've got to really keep the perspective," said Dr. Douglas Goldsmith, Psychologist.

Goldsmith recommends parents should teach their children what happened without becoming too emotional, listen to concerns they might have and reassure them it won't happen to them.

"I would say to the child - Dad and I are here, the Principal is taking of this, your teachers are aware of how to keep your school safe, everything is going to be okay, on Monday morning and we can go with you to show you that," said Goldsmith.

Jacobsen is glad she talked about it with her children and thinks it's better they found out from her.

"It's important that they know things can happen it's kind of a mean world that we live in and the things that happen to our kids in society so I think they needed to know," Goldsmith said.

Psychologists understand this may not be easy for parents. Goldsmith said if you're a mother or father overwhelmed by the idea, wait as long as you need until you're calm and ready, and have a simple conversation with your children.


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