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How to discuss horrible acts of violence with your teens and children

Published: May. 26, 2022 at 11:08 AM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Shocked and saddened, that’s the best way professional counselors Anthony and Sha’Meika Davis can describe the mass shooting in Texas that left multiple people dead.

“My heart sunk. As a parent of two daughter, the last thing I would like to see is something happen to them,” said Anthony Davis.

The couple owns Davis Therapeutic Services.

They say after such a violent and horrific attack, parents should not ignore what happened in Texas because their child could be suffering in silence and afraid to return to school.

“When children are silent, it’s because they are confused. Allowing the silence to go on does not help them out. It’s not healthy for our children,” said Sha’Meika Davis.

They recommend parents start the conversation and give their children space to be open and honest.

“We have to be encouraging, we have to be able to show empathy and support as we are getting comfortable with talking about their feelings,” they said.

Parents should limit the violence children see on TV or social media. Correct any misinformation or destructive thoughts that come with tragedies like this recent mass shooting.

Also, do what you can to make them feel safe.

“We can’t deny what happened,” they explained. “It is what it is, and it was what it was. We must reassure them it happened, but they are in a safe environment. You are with dad, you are with mom, and you are good right now.”

“Also, don’t minimize the fact that this can happen anywhere and that’s when you bring back those foundations that bring courage and hope, which is their faith and strength through their faith and pray with your children,” said Sha’Meika Davis.

They also recommend parents seek professional help if they or their child needs more assistance.

“We want to make sure we are on the forefront of guiding them to a healthy and a positive state. Just like everything in life, it’s better to be proactive than reactive.”

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