Valley psychologist urging conversations with children following Texas shooting

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Thursday, May 26, 2022
Psychologist urging conversations with children following TX shooting
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With so many heartbreaking and terrifying images coming out of Uvalde, experts say it's important to talk to your kids about what happened.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The aftermath of a tragedy like the massacre at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas can last for weeks, months, and for some, a lifetime.

For children and teenagers, the idea of returning to the classroom after learning about the shooting can be scary.

Some parents might feel like they want to shield their kids from the details.

"The reality is they're exposed to it, they're going to hear about it from friends at school and so we have to have these conversations and I think it's better coming from their parents because parents know their children best," said Dr. Amanda Suplee, a pediatric psychologist at Valley Children's Hospital.

Fresno County is equipped with the resources parents and students might need to get help. By the end of next school year, every school in the county will have a mental health clinician assigned to or on campus.

RELATED: How to talk to kids after 19 children, teacher killed in Uvalde, Texas, school shooting

Dr. Suplee says when talking to kids about traumatic events - be honest, direct, and use age-appropriate language.

"It's always important to make sure you start the conversation by saying 'I want to have a talk about something hard' and then maybe ask your child 'what do you know about what happened?'" said Suplee.

Valley Children's and the office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools have mental health resources online to help approach this difficult topic -- and they're encouraging parents to use them.