Addressing mass theater shooting with young children
WHITEFISH BAY — After Friday’s mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado during a midnight showing of the Dark Knight Rises, a child therapist says it’s important parents are paying close attention to their children.
24-year-old James Holmes is accused of opening fire in the crowded theater, killing 12 and injuring over 50.
The mass shooting made Marques Hill pause and think twice about taking his kids to the theater.
“I kinda second-guessed myself, but then again you can’t always live in fear. You gotta put your hands in the Lord, the good Lord and hopefully he’ll look after you,” Hill said.
Child and Family Therapist Aaron Heffernan says parents may want to initiate a discussion with children regarding the incident in Colorado.
“Parents need to monitor themselves. They need to to check-in with their own reaction to this tragedy so that they can be the most responsive and the most attuned to their child,” Heffernan said.
Heffernan also suggests parents use age-appropriate language to discuss any concerns their child might have. He says parents should be monitoring behavior and conversations to address any abrupt changes.
“Parents know their kids, and behavior that is dramatically out of tune with the way they usually are could indicate that they’re dealing with some anxiety, and that might be a time to have that kitchen table conversation with them,” Heffernan said.
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