WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Children today, unfortunately, live in a world steeped in violence. ISIS and mass shootings have become a part of everyday life. So how do we as parents protect our children and make them feel safe?
"I think children are rapidly seeing a changing world. i think giving them information - arming them with information about what is going on is probably key to their survival."
Mental health experts say putting time aside to talk to children and teens about violent events is important. Let them ask questions and ask them questions.
"If they are concerned or depressed obviously you want to talk to that child or teenager. You want to ask them what's going on with them. Maybe consult with their primary care physician if you think that is necessary as a parent or a caregiver."
Avoid letting children see disturbing videos and images of violence. That can be harder to do with teens. Chances are they've already seen it on social media. Again, that's the time to talk. Ask what they've seen and heard about the event and initiate a discussion. Ask what they've seen and heard about the event and start a discussion.
Some social media sites can specifically help Texas youth who may be struggling with difficult emotions. In North Texas, Red River Hospital has partnered with the Helen Farabee Center to create a website.
"We have a kid / teen-friendly site that is RUOK.me. It is interactive, and it talks about behavioral health or emotional problems."
The site is user-friendly, there are games to play and other helpful resources.
Teens who are developing a moral view of the world may be extremely upset by the violence and pessimistic about the future. Experts say parents can help empower them to take positive action like volunteering at an organization helping those in need or sending a care package or card to law enforcement or the troops fighting for our freedom.
Rebuilding a sense of security in children and teens is crucial. Let them know there are people out there protecting us.
There's a whole wealth of population out there that is here to serve to help and protect, and I think we need to shore them up and make them the focus.
Experts say the most important gift you can give your child is faith in humanity.