How do you talk to your kids about a tragedy?
How do you talk to your kids about a tragedy? Many parents are asking themselves that question after Triston Stephens took his own life inside a bathroom at a Coweta school.
Experts say it's about all communication. The first step its to be open with your children and start asking questions. Such as, how are you doing and what are you thinking? But you have to remember their age and what you think they can handle.
"If they are middle school or high school, remember a lot of teenagers like to kind of close off and not talk about things with their parents as much, but know they are processing that information and so just keep lines of communication open," says Carrie Little, Family and Children Services Education and Community Relations Manager.
Little says even if your child says they are doing fine, you need to keep checking back with them over and over again and there are certain signs you can look for if you think your child is having a hard time coping with this type of event.
"If there is a drop in extracurricular activities. If there is a drop of interest in certain subjects that they use to excel at or really like. If they are having trouble sleeping or if they are having nightmares. If they have a loss of appetite," are signs to pay attention to says Little.
Little also says you need to be ready and willing to talk to your children about anything because they will get their information from somewhere.
"If you don't talk about it with your children somebody is going to talk about it with them. They have lots of avenues of finding information. Whether that be their peers or their teachers or the media, they are going to find the answers to the questions that they have multiple places," says Little.