AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Amarillo Children’s Home Executive Director Belinda Palacios said the shooting in Uvalde is hard for adults to digest, let alone kids.
As difficult as it is to explain, Palacios said parents should talk with their children about it.
“They’re gonna get it somewhere. They’re gonna get it from their friends, they’re gonna get it from the TV that is on, or they’re gonna get it from a social media platform, and all of that can be muddled in both directions,” said Palacios.
She said it is best to be honest with kids and give them the information to help them understand what happened.
“When they’re asking questions, answer them as honestly as you possibly can because they are wanting to know and that information coming from you is the best source,” said Palacios.
Doctor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry with Texas Tech Physicians — Astik Joshi, also said it is important to make sure you’re in a good mental state when you start the conversation with your kids.
“The information that is given matters a lot in the child’s internal world,” said Dr. Joshi. “So it should be carefully thought about and stated in a factual manner.”
Palacios said to try and normalize what the kids are feeling.
“Letting them know that’s normal when things like this happen, everybody feels that regardless of their age-old, young, and all in between,” said Palacios.
It is also impotent to give kids a way to decompress those emotions.
“I have a seven-year-old daughter and what I do is at bedtime, I keep 30 minutes her talking and me listening,” said Dr. Joshi. “Setting out time, you know, whatever, block your can and just hearing them out.”
Palacios added that it is important to help kids understand the signs to look for in others and giving them permission to talk about it is vital.
Watch Palacios’ full interview on the topic below: