Slain Streetsboro boy sparking conversations over effects of tragedy on children

BEACHWOOD, OH (WOIO) - The Streetsboro community is mourning the loss of 11-year-old Caleb Lishing, who was allegedly shot and killed Monday by his 13-year-old brother.

Caleb was a fifth-grade student who went to Streetsboro City Schools.

School psychologist Kevin Kemelhar said students at Caleb's school may have a tough time coping.

"There could be kids who don't want to come to school. There are kids who might be afraid for their own safety. Depending on what they know, I think it can have a real negative impact," said Kemelhar, who works at Ellen F. Casper Ph.D. & Associates.

He said kids handle tragedy in many different ways.

"There's a wide range of coping skills. Some kids will act out, some kids will shut down, some kids will make jokes, some kids won't do anything, some kids will want business as usual, like, let's go," he said.

Many children will have questions. They will wonder how a tragedy happened and why, but Kemelhar said young kids shouldn't know all the details.

"They want to know details and sometimes details don't really help them. They don't think like that because they want to know more and more, but sometimes the details can be as hurtful as helpful," he said.

Kids should know they have support, especially from their parents.

"Even if kids say: 'No, I don't need it, I don't want to talk,' continue to make yourself available again, and again, and again, even if they don't talk, even if they don't want it, they know you're there," Kemelhar said.

Parents need to keep a close eye on their kid's behavior following a tragedy.

Watch for changes to their normal routine, including sleep patterns and eating habits.

If kids are struggling, it could be beneficial to reach out to a counselor.

Copyright 2018 WOIO. All rights reserved.