The practice on the news @WLWT about talking to children following a school shooting


Please see link above for the story on talking to your children following a school shooting. The above clip will air in the full interview version this weekend so please stay tuned for a follow up post! Thank you Miana from WLWT and Taylor from our practice for covering such an important and complex topic!

(From Taylor Mullen) When tragedy occurs, it is always a difficult subject to approach with our children. What you say? How much information do you share? It’s a hard topic to face as a parent- here are some tips! 

If your child is in school, it’s safe to assume they have heard at least mention of the situation. Kids who are too young for school, typically 5 and under, may not hear about it and may not benefit from knowing about the situation. Children under 8 have a more difficult time processing traumatic information and we want to avoid causing any secondary trauma that isn’t needed. 

The best way to start a conversation with your child about the shooting is by asking opened ended questions about what they know. This will help you gauge the information they have been exposed to, to level at which they are processing the situation and help to correct any misinformation. Be cautious not to give too many details- we can acknowledge what happened and answer questions without giving them the full run down of every detail and event. 

It’s important to provide reassurance during and after these hard conversations. Remind children that they are safe, talk about systems in place at their school that help keep them safe, and validate their feelings of worry and fear. It’s best that kids remain on their normal schedule. While it may feel better to let them stay home, this worsens the fear and anxiety of returning back to school. 

These times are hard. Take some time to process this information yourself before trying to help your child process it. 

If you are interested in Family Therapy or Therapy for your Child please contact:

Taylor Mullen, MSSW, LSW

Holistic Therapy and Healing, LLC

[email protected]

(513) 341-8738