Coping With The Tragic Shooting In Connecticut - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Coping With The Tragic Shooting In Connecticut

Updated: Dec 14, 2012 09:12 PM CST

Friday's tragic news out of Connecticut is hard for many all over the country to deal with. Local schools are reassuring parents that they safety plans in place. Moline schools sent out an email reminding parents that they have a safety plan in place. The message says the district is in contact with law enforcement, so they can constantly study any new information that might help them make schools safer.

The shooting can also be difficult for students and parents, who were reminded that school isn't always a safe place. We spoke with a local psychologist about what you can do to reassure your children.

"I think we talk to them about how something terrible had happened," says Dr. Steve Kopp with Genesis Psychology Associates.

Dr. Kopp says the best way to help children understand what happened is to reassure them they are safe.

"I think we have to keep in context that this is very rare," adds Dr. Kopp, "It happens across the nation and it seems very close, because it's right there on our living rooms on our television. However, across the nation this is a very rare event."

Tragic events likes Friday's shooting is also a chance for parents to teach their children.

"I think we explain to them that when events like this happen we increase our awareness and preparedness for these situations," says Dr. Kopp, "Their teachers, principals and administrators are doing what they need to do to make sure this environment is safe. You are creating a response for a better, safer environment when they go back to school."

While explaining the shooting to children, adults can also become overwhelmed by what they're seeing and hearing.

"It's going to cause sadness, fear and anger. Those are normal emotions for us to go through when we're experiencing this kind of trauma as a community," says Dr. Kopp.

An important thing to remember is that with T.V., the Internet, Facebook and Twitter all giving us information, it's very easy to overexpose ourselves.

"Sometimes we need to talk to someone," says Dr. Kopp, "Whether it's a trusted friend or a family member, we need to help ourselves process, and so we can be there for our children."

If we are having trouble dealing with the shooting, it's best to disconnect ourselves from it for awhile.

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