“Kids have misconceptions:” Helping your child make sense of the Orlando mass shooting

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MILWAUKEE -- It's a conversation that can be difficult for adults: How to make sense of the massacre in Orlando. For many parents, the challenge is even greater when their kids ask for an explanation.

Penfield Children's Center

Penfield Children's Center

Spend a few minutes at the Penfield Children's Center and it's apparent kids are curious, but you already knew that. Their curiosity naturally extends to the images they see their parents watching.

If there are questions about a tragic event, Counselor Michelle Rosenwald says parents should tell the truth while remembering who's listening.

Michelle Rosenwald

Michelle Rosenwald

"You want to be honest when you're talking to kids about what's happened or what's going on, but you also want to think about their development and what they can handle," said Rosenwald.

Rosenwald says it's important to establish the tragedy kids are seeing unfold is a single event.

Penfield Children's Center

Penfield Children's Center

"Sometimes kids have misconceptions that these experiences are happening over and over again when they only really happened one time. We saw that a lot with kids after 9/11, that they were believing the event was happening again and again and again," said Rosenwald.

Penfield Children's Center

Penfield Children's Center

In a city like Milwaukee, that may go double for kids who already have questions about traumatic events they've seen or heard about in their neighborhood.

"Then they're also witnessing it on the television as well might think it's happening all the time or more than it's actually happening," Rosenwald said.

Rosenwald says the overall message from parents should always be reassuring that there are more good people than bad.

"Something scary has happened but you're safe right now. You're OK," said Rosenwald.

Penfield Children's Center

Penfield Children's Center

Rosenwald says parents who know their kids are aware of a tragic event should ask if they have any questions. That way, parents get an idea of what they young one is processing.

If you'd like more tips on how to address violent events with your children, CLICK HERE.