Talking to your children after a tragedy like the Stoneman Shooting

Talking to your children after a tragedy like the Stoneman Shooting

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - It's a conversation no parent wants to have, explaining a school shooting to their child.

Whether it happened near or far, it's not an easy issue to explain.

Crystal Lyles, a parent of a student at Amphitheater Middle School explained, "You have to be ready to deal with something like that."

First things first, experts told Tucson News Now don't shy away from a child's questions.

Kids are going to be curious and may even be afraid to head to school.

"Kids do need to realize there's evil out there," said Lyles. "They've got to be prepared for it."

Lyles picked up her student from school and realized it had become a harsh reality, explaining how and what happened following the deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Grief experts at Tu Nidito in Tucson told us the most important thing is to let your children hear it from you first, not from TV or social media.

Assistant Program Director at Tu Nidito Brigid Frasquillo said, "It might create more fear or more anxiety. As a parent or an adult, being the one to communicate that message is important."

Frasquillo also explained another priority should be being open and honest. For older children, Lyles said don't shy away from letting them watch coverage after the initial explanation.

"You know your kid. It's like, my kid can handle this much. If they can't just explain it. If they can, show them this is not a video game. This is not a movie. This is really going on," said Lyles.

Remind your student that school is still a safe place to be. It's something Lyles has reminded her son of in the past, after his school was put on lock down.

"He was scared the first time but now he realizes okay my teachers are taking care of me," explained Lyles.

Tu Nidito also suggested for any children feeling grief after learning of a tragedy like this, give them a creative outlet to express their emotions.

WANT MORE? Download the Tucson News Now app for Apple and Android devices.

Copyright 2018 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.