Explaining Violence, Tragedy to Children

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DANVILLE -- Video of kids walking out of their high school in Florida just moments after this week's deadly shooting may be hard to watch.

Explaining this all to your children can be an uneasy conversation for some parents.

Barry Kobel works at Mirror Image Fashions in Danville. A father of four with kids, ages ranging in ages 2 to 12, he says talking to them about the mass shootings in schools is difficult.

"They don't understand because we are quite fortunate that we haven't dealt with anything like this in the area and I hope we never have to," Kobel said.

Brenda Sachleven says she talked to her 15-year-old son Jacob and does not want him living in fear.

"Be cognizant of those around him and can't live his life in fear and be worried about everything going on around him at all times, and just be aware of everything but not live in fear," Sachleven said.

At the Henry Hood Center for Health Research at Geisinger Medical Center, Dr. Sean O'Dell thinks parents should be talking to their kids about school shootings.

Dr. O'Dell says how much you tell your child, depends on their age and developmental level.

"The younger kids are the more concrete, the fewer details you want to provide. As kids get older, parents are going to want to make sure they are sharing details," Dr. O'Dell said.

In this social media age, Dr. O'Dell says parents with older children should expect more questions.

"They are going to have their own views and I think a lot of what we have seen from the kids that have been involved show that

Dr. O'Dell points out that kids are vulnerable, so it's best for parents to be there as much as they can.

"So if they ask you a question and you get the idea is, that they want to stay safe or they feel scared and they want to be reassured, that they feel safe, it is OK to reassure them that they are safe," Dr. O'Dell added.


  • Givemeabreak

    Maybe our kids are just like us. They blame everyone else for their own problems. It’s Hillary’s, Obama’s or Trump’s fault. I don’t know where they get it from?

    Maybe it’s because there is so much hate for others because they just aren’t like me. Somehow one group is more American or one group isn’t as important as another.

    This is about what we tolerate as individuals on a day to day basis just talking to someone. There is zero tolerance anymore and it’s all about me, me, me.

    The moral and social decay of this country isn’t going to stop until we all decide to do something about it. It comes down to individual responsibility.

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    Actually, it’s Ritalin + Aderall + everybody gets a trophy = messed up adults.

    It’s just going to get worse folks. My little kids are getting into sports and the like. I see some of the parents of the other children and just shake my head. Freaks.

    Honestly, all in all, I think we’re Phuk’d folks! I really do.

    As much as I want to have hope, I don’t see it
    coming from today’s average American.

  • trucker

    “The reason we send you to a christen school or homeschool you is because the kids in the godless government
    schools are all on SSRI’s, don’t believe in God and like to shoot each other”

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    Oh and forego retarded football for one season, take that money and get some god damn security in these schools!

    • Ritalin + Adderall = crippled adult

      A gent raised a good point about these incidents with Las Vegas excluded. This is the product of decades of chemically controlled youth through Ritalin, Adderall, and all of the other mood altering drugs that have been prescribed like M&M’s to children to force them into conformity and make them quiet, “focused,” and manageable. This has taken the place of parenting and this is why all of this has ramped up in the past few years. We do not know what the long term effects are and we are just beginning to see what kind of psychotics are being formed because of this means of controlling kids as young as 3. Once they reach puberty and head into adulthood, their brains are so scrambled from these medications that they will never be able to function WITHOUT the use of pharmaceuticals.

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    Kids come in the living room, mom and dad want to have a talk with you.

    You all know that there has been a rash of school shootings lately. First off, you need to know that mommy and daddy love you very very much.

    You also need to understand that there are kids out there who don’t have homes like ours. They might have moments and daddy’s who are not very nice to them.

    You also need to understand that sometimes the kids do bad things.

    Unfortunately we live in a country where no one can be trusted.

    Be nice to everyone and steer clear of kids who you think are bad or weird.


    Sometimes all they need is someone to be nice to them.

    Sometimes…… it’s also too late for that kid.

    You see in this world, sometimes bad things are just going to happen. Not everything is always going to turn out for the better. Most times they will, but not always.

    If you find yourself in an emergency like this during school, YOU RUN!!!

    You don’t go to your locker, you don’t go get your friends, you don’t tell your teacher. You don’t stay put where teachers tell you, YOU RUN!!

    Use your god given senses to survive. Listen for the commotion and go in the opposite direction.

    You are a survivor! Survive.

    If something happens like this or you are uncertain about how you feel about, you can talk to mommy and daddy.

    The schools and the tv will try to tell you to think this way or that, but this is something that we need to deal with for a family. Because remember, you can’t trust anyone in this country to look out for your except you!!

    Now kids, do you have any questions about this? Let’s discuss it as a family.


      • Lloyd Schmucatelli

        Well son, kids aren’t allowed to buy ANY gun. Son, you need to learn how to separate fact from fiction and actually learn the laws.

        Also son, you need to learn to re-evaluate your perspective from time to time and understand that there is no such thing as a high powered assault “killer” weapon.

        Don’t grow up to suffer from cognitive dissonance, you don’t want to end up like all the weirdos that can’t think for themselves.

        You need to learn how to identify who the weirdos are and stay far far away from them.

      • Lloyd Schmucatelli

        Son, bad kids cannot LEGALLY buy ANY guns. They’re kids. What you don’t understand about how they can get them has nothing to do with getting them legally, they are getting them ILLEGALLY.

        Whether they buy them on the street from criminals who don’t care about the laws or they TAKE them illegally from their parent who legally own them is a different story.
        (Parental negligence omitted from the argument for the sake of elementary explanation.)

        As far as kids BUYING them, as you say, it simply isn’t so.
        Son, let’s stick to the facts here.

        Son, here is an example.
        If our families minivan is sitting in the driveway with no keys in it, will it drive itself to town? No? That’s correct, no it won’t.

        Son, if we put the keys in the ignition, will it start itself and drive itself to town? No you say? That’s also correct. Good job!

        Son, if we start the car and DRIVE it to town, will we have driven it or will it have driven itself?

        Oh, we would have driven it? You are correct son.

        Now son, for the final bonus question, if we drive that car into town and park it correctly in a parking space or drive it into a crowd of people, did we do that or the car do that itself?
        That’s right son!!! You’re getting it, WE DID IT!!! The car didn’t do it itself, it’s not CAPABLE of doing it itself. It’s not a car issue son. It’s not even a MAKE OR MODEL of car issue son!! It’s a driver issue!

        I’m so proud of you son for finally understand the most basic of logics. You have a bright future.

    • wake up

      “Mommy and Daddy love you very much….” which is why we will never vote for anybody who even mentions the possibility of discussing sensible measures to try and prevent this from happening again. Mommy and Daddy love you but you need to understand that it is important that we must stand by the gop congress and trump to overturn the measures that prevented mentally ill people from obtaining weapons and harming you. You see that big TV there? Mommy and Daddy also need to be able to protect us from someone who might take our TV because it is worth so much more than a human life — Mommy and Daddy think that Jesus said this in the Bible (or somewhere anyway).

      • Naughtius Maximus

        Lloyd’s right, even if it makes people feel uncomfortable. Steven Crowder said it best on YourTube about the statistics, today.

        This wasn’t a KID that did the shooting, for crissakes. This was a legal adult. This fellow would have generated violence with velcro if he hadn’t had a gun – he’s off his rocker, off his nut, and off his medicaiton, apparently. Which begs the NEXT question: how many of the minor-age school shooters were either taking medication, or had stopped taking medication?

        Now is not the time to be discussing gun laws, bans, or control. Right now, families are burying loved ones and emotions are shattered and raw. Lay off a little with the political agenda. This event is not a platform to demand this or that. This is a tragedy. Treat it as such.

  • Robin

    First I like to say my heart goes out those parents of the innonect victims. It’s very difficult to talk to kids about this strategy and others that happen. I think it’s about time that mental people aren’t allowed firearms. It’s becoming a huge problem. We as parents; teachers;people of law. Need to pay attention to warning signs of very strange scary behavior. If we focus on those things maybe it will be a better place. I always explain to my kids about what’s real and what isnt. I see that some kids think video games are real life. That’s just entertainment. There so many things these days these kids think are real. Like lyrics from songs. Same thing it’s entertainment. But the question is how many kids and adults can separate that. I only hope that things change for the better.

    • Ritalin + Adderall = crippled adult

      My childhood friends and I all acted out Three Stooges routines. We realized that the Curley-eye-poke was contrived. We also played on dangerous playground equipment, ran amok without cell phones, had 5 television channels to choose from, didn’t have Sesame Street, and most all of us ended up just fine. Just sayin’

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