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Rocky River psychologist offers parents advice on how to talk about the school shooting in Texas with their kids

Published: May. 24, 2022 at 10:12 PM EDT
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ROCKY RIVER, Ohio (WOIO) - It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. On Tuesday an 18-year-old got inside a Texas elementary school and opened fire.

“High schools we worry about, there’s a lot of security,” explained Dr. Deborah Koricke, a forensic and clinical psychologist in Rocky River. “A lot of elementary schools don’t have security. I think because that group is - you just don’t think of violence occurring there.”

Dr. Koricke said it’s important for parents to talk with their kids about this, but there are ways to make the conversation easier.

“I think you tell your kids they’re gonna do everything they can to protect you,” said Dr. Koricke. “We’re gonna do everything we can to protect you, and just try to not lie to kids about what’s going on because that’s a bad message but try to just make sure that you try to reassure them that their school and their teachers are gonna try to do everything they can and I think even if we don’t 100% believe it ourselves we need to tell our kids this won’t happen to you, you’ll be fine, this isn’t gonna happen, this is far far away.”

Dr. Koricke told 19 News whenever tragedies like this happen, she expects to see a huge increase in parents and children making appointments for counseling.

“Yes, we saw it with the pandemic,” she said. “It really picked up that not just in our practice, but practices all over the country, there are many places with waiting lists and so forth and so you do expect to have it pick up and I know there will be kids who are going to become much more anxious about this.”

Dr. Koricke says the most important thing is for parents to get their kids help if they need it.

“There’s crisis helplines,” Dr. Koricke said. “Call your pediatrician, pediatricians always, they’re trained in this, they can help parents in talking to the kids and there’s also you know, there’s a lot of companies also that have employee assistance programs, where you can see where you could take your kids to see a mental health professional at no charge.”

The doctor said if your kid’s anxiety lasts more than a day or two, get them some help. She also warns parents to always monitor their kid’s social media, especially younger children when something like this happens.

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