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In wake of deadly school shooting, psychiatrist shares tips to discuss tragedy with children

In wake of deadly school shooting, psychiatrist shares tips to discuss tragedy with children
Posted at 11:19 PM, May 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-24 23:19:10-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- In the wake of Tuesday's deadly shooting at a Texas elementary school, many parents are left wondering how to bring up the tragic events with their school-aged children.

Dr. Martin Buxton, a board-certified child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist, said that every child is different and that reactions will vary.

Some children may be very frightened and traumatized and not want to go to school while others may choose not to talk about it at all right away.

If your child is not talking about what happened, Dr. Buxton urges parents to respect their reaction as there is likely a reason that their mind is choosing that response.

On the other hand, if your child is expressive and emotional, Dr. Buxton urges parents to respond to their needs but to try not to force a conversation or reaction.

"I think the trick for the parents will be to be available both emotionally, physically. The child wants to get into bed tonight, the child wants them to sleep with them, the child wants to cuddle, the child doesn't want to be alone. Yopu know, to manage that. And I wouldn't go probing with a bunch of questions. If the child asked, I would certainly answer the question honestly, in the context of the age. Just be available in every sense of the word," Buxton said.

Dr. Buxton urged parents to be reassuring to their children when it comes to their safety.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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