Crime Watch 8

Experts: Answer your kids’ questions about violence

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Experts are offering advice for talking to your kids about violence abroad and closer to home.

The advice comes during the same week as terror attacks in Brussels and Howard County Sheriff’s Deputy Carl Koontz being killed.

“You give them the facts and you try to stay away from the details so much, and you remind them of the things that are in place to keep them safe,” said Dr. Kristy McNamee, a behavioral health counselor at Franciscan St. Francis Health.

McNamee says you should answer kids’ questions to the best your ability. But she says you first need to control your own emotions.

“If you’re freaked out about something or fearful about something you kind of need to get that under control first,” McNamee advised.

She says the images can cause post traumatic stress, anxiety and even flashbacks.

“Older teenagers you might have more of a conversation with, but the younger kids they just really want to know that they’re safe,” she said.

McNamee says, for younger kids, limit the amount of news coverage they see. And to stick to normal routines. She says older kids may be called to action.

“You can always help out the Red Cross or something. With Deputy Koontz you might want to send a card to the family of something like that and they might feel that they’re able to provide some comfort to somebody else,” she said.

She says the closer to home the tragedy is, the harder it will be for them.

“It’s important too to remind them that while this is on the news a lot, they’re rare occurrences in the grand scheme of things,” she said.

Dr. McNamee also says that any of these conversations should be handled by parents, or other trusted, well-informed adults.