ST. PAUL, Minn. - While this shooting is hard for adults to comprehend, it's even more difficult for children to grasp. Experts say they may feel anxious and even afraid.
As a mother of seven, Tammy Trout-McIntyre had two reactions when learning about the tragedy in Colorado. She was both a concerned citizen and a worried mother.
"This evening four of our children are going to see the show," Trout-McIntyre said. "We had already bought tickets. I am kind of worried."
But Tammy chose to address those worries and her family's questions directly and with honestly.
"We find the best way to do it is be straight forward and honest," she said. "We don't give them all the details, but we give it to them in the way they can understand for their age level. That approach is exactly what the experts recommend.
"I think the first thing that parents can do is talk to their kids and really gauge how they are feeling have things changed," she said.
John Tauer, a social psychology professor at the University of St. Thomas, says children especially will struggle with the idea of violence and fear in a place so familiar. He says some children will even grow anxious and prefer to avoid theaters. And if that's the case, parents will want to help put the fear in perspective.
And bottom line, Tauer says parents will absolutely need to practice what they preach, respecting the horror of the tragedy, while also moving forward.
"Not to trivialize it, but if we go about our normal lives, then our kids will be more likely to do so as well," Tauer said.
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