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NOTE: How to talk to kids about school shootings

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The world remains in hurt, pain, and lost loved-ones. Many are now in fear, after 17 people were killed in a Florida High School Wednesday.

Parents all over the world are now reluctant to leave their kids at school after dropping them out, only to hope for the worst. Thinking about a deadly shooting rampage, like the one in Parkland, FL, where 17 people were killed.

A Valentines Day left many in positions they’ve never been in.

The question we pose to you today is, How can parents best handle talking with their children about gun-related, or any other, violence?

Talking honestly and openly, considering a child’s age and emotional needs and without adding unnecessary dread and fear, is critically important.

Licensed psychotherapist Fran Sherman of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. give us some tips.

1. Never lie to your children. Ever. 

“If it’s a teen, you’re going to talk to them in a different way than you’d talk to 6-year-old. Talk to them at an age-appropriate level,” she said. “That’s very important. And it’s all about honesty. Think always: honesty.”

2. Some children don’t need to hear about a mass shooting, period.

“I don’t think you need to bring it up with very young children at all if they’re not going to hear about it otherwise,” Sherman said.

“Older children are going to hear about it, and you absolutely need to talk to them, she said. “It’s all over the place, with social media, immediately.

But with a younger child … a parent of younger children is teaching them about stranger danger and being safe. We don’t want to bring more scary things into their lives unnecessarily.”

3. Always validate your child’s fears.

“You might not agree with your child, but don’t dismiss their fears,” Sherman said. “If they’re afraid to go to school, validate that. Tell them: ‘I understand that you’re afraid. I’m afraid, too.’ And talk to them.”

Scary stuff will always be happening, but you can reinforce what they need to do to stay safe. If something happens while they’re in school, they should follow directions from adults in charge.

And at home, grieve and heal in personal ways that families can share.

“If you believe in prayer, pray for safety, for peace, whatever it is you and your family do,” Sherman said. “And really talk about what’s going on, about the world, about their fears. They’re real.”

3. Encourage children to report possible danger.

While children naturally don’t want or are afraid to tattle on others, Sherman said they need to know it’s OK to report odd or unsettling things they see or hear. Whether it’s about a friend threatening self-harm, disturbing images of guns and knives, or violence on social media, assure young people they’re doing right by speaking out.

“Let them know: They can save somebody’s life, a lot of lives. Let them know that if they see something, they can let the parent take over,” she said. “The parents can call the school, the authorities, somebody who can help.”

4. Spend family time together in troubled times.

“When something like this happens, I remind everyone to do things as a family. Spend time together, as much as you can,” Sherman said. “It’s hard, but it’s true: You really never know when anything can happen. Make the most of that time together,”

5. Be kind.

It sounds simple, but teaching kindness in a scary world is important.

“Talk to your children about love. Talk to them about being kind to each other,” she said.

And avoid being cruel, critical and dismissive of others on social media yourself as you talk about volatile subjects.

“We all need to do as human beings what makes us feel safe,” Sherman said. “We need to stop belittling others, demeaning each other, spewing out hate.”

Age-appropriate tips

1. Preschoolers

Be careful about what’s on TV — and the conversations you’re having. Children mirror their parents.

In this digital age, kids expect parents to be on their phones, scanning through social media. Try to mask your facial expressions if you read something negative or heartbreaking.

The best thing to do is to keep the news away from them unless they ask.

2. Elementary-schoolers

Don’t skirt the issue.

Ask the kids what they’ve heard. Ask them questions. Encourage them to ask you questions.

Don’t shield them from the truth, but do take account their age. Generalize the information if they’re young.

Another good tip?

“Talk about probabilities, the likelihood of it happening,” Emily Tonn of Pamper Your Mind in Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., said in a 2016 parenting column.

And perhaps come up with a family safety plan for home and school and places to meet in case of an emergency.

3. Middle- and high-schoolers

They’re getting info from friends, teachers and more. They’re hearing so many things in their own circles that they may not even come to you.

Try asking: “What have you heard? What do your friends say? What have you seen on social media?”

Then just be frank. Some kids won’t want to talk, and that’s OK.

Reiterate the family safety plans, just in case.

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VIDEO: Black Rose Tavern accused of kicking out Black man for charging phone

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A Jacksonville man says he was kicked out of a Midway Park bar Tuesday after he was trying to charge his phone. 

Jacksonville resident Kenneth Foster lost power at his home because of Hurricane Florence and needed to charge his phone, but when he went to Black Rose Tavern in Midway Park to charge it, he was kicked out.

“I left Hungry Howies to go to Black Rose Tavern to get a drink and I needed to charge my phone,” Foster said. “I saw children charging their phones.”

Foster said that when he asked the owner of Black Rose Tavern, John Bova, if he could charge his phone he was met with the reply that “this ain’t that type of bar”.

Bova, however, is claiming that Foster walked in the door, and, without asking, plugged in his phone.

“He walked in the door and plugged in his phone, and my wife who was the bartender walked over and asked him if she could help him and asked if he needed something to drink. He told her that he needed to charge his phone.”

Bova told News In Onslow that Foster began getting hostile with his wife, which is when he stepped in, told Foster that he could not charge his phone and informed him that he needed to leave.

Bova explained to Foster that they are a private club and that he cannot just walk into their place business and plug in his phone.

It was after being told to leave that Foster pulled out his phone and started recording.

Foster said Bova grabbed his phone and bruised his finger but he will not be pursuing criminal charges.

“I know the man racist,” Foster told News In Onslow.

The bar owner said that he is not racist and that his business is diverse.

WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:

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Red Cross say there no-show at 2 Onslow Locations was a big mistake

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When you talk about scamming, you think of the American Red Cross. A non-profit organization that accepts donations and never help people like their mission say they do. Some citizens of Onslow County, North Carolina can tell you about their experience with the non-profit organization and what happened Tuesday, September 18th.

Tuesday, officials in Onslow County told local residents that the American Red Cross would be feeding them in different locations throughout the county, but at two locations the non-profit never came.

Two of the locations, Richlands Library, and New River Shopping Center had people waiting nearly three hours for American Red Cross meals that never came and now the organization is saying it was a ‘big mistake’.

RHOA Kandi Burrus “The Lies!”

American Red Cross representative Charlotte Rodriguez told local reporters, “It was a big mistake that we should not have made.” 

It’s funny how the organization acknowledged their wrong but never apologized to the people they wronged.  Always want you to donate your money but have a hard time with integrity. 

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American Red Cross was a no-show to feed Onslow County citizens

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Hundreds of citizens in Onslow County, North Carolina was waiting to be fed by the American Red Cross at 5:00 P.M. Tuesday evening, but they didn’t show up.

Onslow County Government posted on their Facebook page Tuesday the locations the American Red Cross would be feeding at and at least two of those locations was a no-show.

Locations Below:

Swansboro Library

Richlands Library (No Show)

Sneads Ferry Library

1380 Piney Green Rd. (Parking lot/shopping center)

New River Shopping Center (by Planet Fitness) (No Show)

The public was notified that the organization would be feeding at 4 PM but that time was later changed to 5 PM.

Local residents who showed up at Richlands Library and New River Shopping Center locations told News In Onslow that the organization was nowhere to be found.

Look at some of the comments posted on the Onslow County Government Facebook page about this BELOW:

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