LYNCHBURG, Va. – For parents and caregivers, it can be difficult to explain to children what happened in Texas and why the drills that they do in school are essential to their safety.
It’s something no parent wants to have to talk about, but unfortunately, it is the reality we have to face.
“You don’t know whether to cry, scream. You want to stop, but you can’t stop because if everybody stops nothing will get done,” said Brenda Moss.
Moss started the Shawn Moss Wells and Growth Foundation in honor of her son, who was shot and killed in 2014.
She holds events in Lynchburg, promoting wellness and safety for children.
Moss says it’s important for parents to have open communication at home.
“I know you have the question of why, and we don’t have the answer to that question. But what we can do is help you move forward in your grieving process,” said Moss.
Dr. James Camm agrees with Moss. He’s the executive of Lynchburg’s One Community One Voice, an organization that helps Lynchburg families.
He encourages parents to do what he did for his now-adult children.
“I would turn the lights off and sit at the foot of their bed, and they could to me about anything without looking me in the eye,” said Camm.
He says it’s a small effort that can make a big difference.
“When issues like this would occur, they would be so open to discuss it,” said Camm.
But what if your children are too young?
Gabrielle Mauk, a licensed therapist with Horizon Behavioral Health, says if your child is younger than 8 years old, you should limit access to what they see -- while still discussing the basics.
“Keeping it simple as much as, ‘A person did something bad that hurt a lot of people. Tell me how you feel about it,’ can be a great way to open up a conversation,” said Mauk.
If you need assistance, you can call Horizon Behavioral Health at 434-477-5000.