(KLST/KSAN)– As more information on the Uvalde shooting continues to unfold. parents are having tough conversations about the horrific event with their little ones.
Benina Estrade is a mother in San Angelo. She said her 10-year-old son has started asking questions about what happened in Uvalde.
“Why wasn’t the school locked if his school is locked, why wasn’t the school locked? Those were his questions and I’m like I couldn’t answer them for him,” Estrada said.
She said she thinks it’s important to have these conversations, so he will be prepared for what could potentially happen.
“I did tell him you know, that’s why we always have to be prepared for situations, always gotta be aware of our surroundings and be ready for whatever is to come even things like this,” Estrada said.
Lisa Sobrero with West Texas Counseling and Guidance said it’s important to make sure the child is initiating the conversation and not parents who wasn’t to process the situation with their children.
“If I’m initiating the conversation as a parent because I’m worried about my child having heard something or my child is bringing it up, I want to first of all assess and make sure I know what my child is aware of and the type of information my child might have,” Sobrero said.
Sobrero said open ended questions are a great way of presenting questions to children to encourage them to engage in the conversation.
“I wonder what you’ve heard about what happened? or I wonder what they told you about what happened? So open ended questions tend to do a good job when it comes to keeping that conversation flowing because there’s less pressure than a close ended questions, such as what do you know? what did they tell you? ,” Sobrero said.
Sobrero said parents should also validate the child’s feelings and avoid making statements like, ‘this will never happen to you’.”
“Because the truth is we can’t really, truly say that, and the older the kid, the more likelier the kid is going to pick up on the discrepancy and that’s not going to help with the worry,” Sobrero said.
Sobrero also said it’s important to monitor the access children have to the internet, especially as details begin to surface.
“Because we don’t want children to be flooded with this horrific news, it’s very hard for them to process and we want to shield children from this horrific event as much as we possibly can,” Sobrero said.