How to talk to kids about mass shootings, according to an expert

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team via WLS logo
Wednesday, July 6, 2022
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Wondering how to talk to kids about mass shootings? An expert joined ABC7 to talk about what you can say after the Highland Park parade shooting.

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- Following mass shootings, parents are faced with tough conversations with their kids. And the shooting in Highland Park was particularly emotional, since so many children were attending the parade when the shooting happened.

Dr. Firuza Aliyeva is the founder of Plena Mind Center, a Pediatric Mental Health Center in Northbrook. She's had an office in Highland Park for years.

SEE ALSO | Highland Park parade shooting: Witnesses describe chaos after 7 killed, 39 injured

"I think it's horrible, it's scary, there's such a wide range of emotions to go through," said Aliyeva.

She said talking to kids about mass shootings is not easy.

"Kids do react with a very wide range of emotions," said Aliyeva. "Kids do have different developmental stages."

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For younger kids, like those in elementary school, she said it's important to talk in short sentences.

For older kids, they can think more abstractly. She recommended making sure you reassure kids. She said they feel safe when you feel safe.