Experts say parents should begin healing process immediately after children experience trauma like school shooting
Houston – What the students at Yes Prep Southwest Secondary dealt with on Friday morning was traumatic, and psychologists said discussions and some form of counseling should already be happening.
“Right now, the goal is for these parents to tell their children, ‘You are safe, you are protected,'” said child psychologist Staci Passe.
Passe said an already tragic situation was made worse by the fact that it happened before a weekend. She said routine and immediate advice from the school would have been ideal.
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“For the kids right now structure and routine are absolutely essential,” Passe said. “So now is not the time for parents to allow their kids to stay awake all night, or, you know, to go out and do things that they traditionally wouldn’t do.”
KPRC 2 reporter Keith Garvin asked what was the best course of action for parents after a situation like this.
“It’s normal for us to feel scared and overwhelmed and express this to our children,” said Dr. Melanie Somerville, a licensed professional counselor.
She added that it is helpful for parents to be transparent and let their children know how they feel about Friday’s ordeal. This honesty, she said, can pave the way for communication with children.
“’I am here, whatever time of day or night. I’m here for you to talk about or if there’s someone else I can help you connect with, ”Somerville advised parents to tell their kids.
Psychologists have also said that if your child is unwilling to talk about a traumatic event right away, it is important not to insist. They advise parents to just let them know they can communicate as soon as they are ready.
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