Friday, August 28, 2015

TV Reporter and Camera Man Shot on Live TV: How to Talk with Your Kids

If you are wondering how to talk with your kids about the TV reporter and camera man who were shot on live TV in Virginia yesterday, please read this post for some of our thoughts.

Many kids have been exposed to the video of this shooting since it was posted online and on social media.  FOX News contacted us to discuss how to address this with kids if they happened to see it, as well as how to talk with kids who seem immune to the violence or don't seem bothered by it. 

Here are some ideas:
If parents suspect that their children have seen the video, they can gently ask the children if they saw it and how it made them feel

Parents should acknowledge those feelings (perhaps it's fear, anxiety, sadness, etc.) and share their own feelings about the incident. 

Empathizing with children's feelings and parents sharing their own feelings helps children feel understood in a moment that can be experienced as extremely emotionally confusing and overwhelming.

Parents should reassure their children that they are safe and the person who did this can't hurt them, and also encourage them to talk about anything that worries them

For children who may have seen the video but don't have a reaction and the parents are concerned, they can leave the door open for discussion. Parents can say to their children that they know they saw the video and that it might feel pretty weird, scary, uncomfortable or sad, reassure them they are safe, and let them know they are available to talk about it whenever the children want.

The most important things are to acknowledge and share feelings, provide reassurance, and keep the door to discussion open.

You can always contact us if you would like more information about how to talk with your children about these kinds of incidents or if you are concerned about your child's response and would like to get the child and/or yourself some support.