Local Parents, Counselor Share Approach To Discussing School Shooting With Kids

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Central Ohio parents were talking about having tough conversations with their children a day after the deadly shooting spree in Connecticut.

Buffy Hawkins spent Saturday morning working for charity with her six-year-old daughter.

Hawkins said it took on extra meaning to have taken Elizabeth to help people in need.

She didn't hear anything at all. But as a parent, it's scary," Hawkins said. "So my heart really goes out for all those parents."

Tim Byrd also volunteered his time to help others on Saturday. He said his nine-year-old daughter found out about the shooting at school and initially had a difficult time talking about it.

"She went back to her room, sat down and, knowing my daughter, I let her have some time to herself. And then she decided she wanted to talk," Byrd said.

Cornerstone of Hope Columbus grief counselor Kristen Santel said a reaction like Byrd described is normal.

"An event like this has such ripple effects," Santel said.

Santel suggested parents and caregivers be very open and honest about the situation, listen to the child's concerns and ask questions.

"'How are you feeling? Do you have any questions about what you've seen on tv or heard from other people? Are you scared about anything? Are you scared to go back to school?'" Santel suggested.

Santel said the approach would help children verbalize their fears in a trying time.

Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for continuing developments in the Connecticut elementary school shooting.