HOUSTON - Speaking with your child about the tragedy in Uvalde is a topic many parents are grappling with, but experts say there are effective ways to talk to your child with age-appropriate conversations.
The National Association of School Psychologists breaks it down the age groups to three levels:
- Early elementary: provide simple information and assure them they are safe
- Upper elementary and early middle school : answer their questions and separate reality from fantasy
- Upper middle and high school: emphasize reporting concerns and how to get help
"Sometimes parents will say ‘I am worried that this will happen in my child’s school. What do I say to them about this? It is a good conversation to have about ‘who do you know at your school that helps keep you safe? Do you have people there? Do you have teachers or coaches there? What would you do if something like this happened?" said Dr. Leslie Taylor, clinical director of the UTHealth Houston trauma and Resilience Center.
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She says there are signs of mental health concerns you or teachers can look out for in the child which include:
Signs of mental health concerns
-withdrawn from peers
-decline in grades
-changes in sleeping/eating patterns
Other resources for educators and families to discuss school shootings:
National Association of School Psychologists
American Psychological Association
National Parent Help Line