How to Talk to Children in the Aftermath of Today’s Parkland School Shooting

Armen Hareyan's picture
Dr. Daniel Amen

Prominent Psychiatrist, Doctor Daniel Amen offers advice to parents on how to talk to their children in the aftermath of today’s high school shooting in Parkland Florida.

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Turn off the TV and like most people don't watch the traumas of other people over and over, recommends Daniel Amen, MD in an advice, published below.

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“It’s very important to talk to your kids about the reports of today’s school shooting they may be seeing on the news, especially if they express concern or fear. For older kids, parents should feel free to answer any questions they may have and listen to their feelings. For younger kids, try to keep it short and avoid emotional rabbit trails. Turn off the TV. Don’t be like most Americans who watch traumas over and over. If they start to struggle with nightmares, help them finish the dreams in a more positive way, assuring them that they are safe with you, their parents.

“It should not be a child’s burden to worry about and fear things they cannot control, but as adults, we should have a plan in case disaster strikes. Parents should be able to say to their children, ‘If something bad happens at school – do this and do that. If someone at school tells you they are having violent or suicidal thoughts, ALWAYS tell parents about it, even if the kids tell you not to.’ These types of conversations will leave children with a sense of preparedness, which in turns provides comfort as they try and make sense of what they see on the news and hear about from their friends.”

Our prayers for the victims of the Parkland tragedy. We need to change the way we raise our children because mass shootings are now so common. We need to change the things to which we give value. We, as a society should value other things so that TV and computer spread other messages where friendship, selfless love and lowliness are valued. Otherwise, I am afraid, if we don't change and don't live according to the commandments of Christ, we will see the worse coming ahead of us.

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Comments

I think that adults had better figure out what went on before they try talking to children about it.
Today I read an interesting article stating that before the late nineteen eighties, mass shootings and acts of senseless violence were relatively unheard of. Prozac, the most well known SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressant, was not yet on the market. When Prozac did arrive, it was marketed as a panacea for depression which resulted in huge profits for its manufacturer Eli Lilly. Of course other drug companies had to create their own cash cow and followed suit by marketing their own SSRI antidepressants. Subsequently, mass shootings and other violent incidents started to be reported. More often than not, the common denominator was that the shooters were on an antidepressant, or withdrawing from one. This is not about an isolated incident or two but numerous shootings. The question is, during the past twenty years is the use of antidepressants here a coincidence or a causation?