How do you explain the school massacre to children? - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

How do you explain the school massacre to children?

The visuals and listening to the children at the school are taking a toll on many. It's difficult to grasp, especially those with young minds.

"We were just in the middle of the gym when we heard some gun shots, and the power went out," said a little girl at Sandy Hook Elementary.

From the children who were at Sandy Hook Elementary when the gunman went on a rampage, to children near Baton Rouge more than 1,400 miles away, Friday's stories and pictures are hitting everyone.

"You know these kind of things seem to be so far away from home, but they're right in our back door. It hurts. It really hurts," said Herbert Pate.

Child psychologist Jesse Lambert said controlling your emotions is key, especially around the kids. Avoid crying hysterically because that will only make them more anxious. Instead, hold your own. Plus, your child's age has a lot to do with what you say, how you say and whether you should even allow them to watch the television coverage.

"From 0-7 (age group), you're going to want to try shield the child as much as possible. Once we get from 7-12, you can discuss these things," said Dr. Lambert.

And when you discuss them, leave out details like a gunman or children killed. Instead, say something like, "Well, I wanted to talk to you about what happened in a school. Somebody did a very bad thing, and he hurt a lot of people," suggested Dr. Lambert.

Dr. Lambert added parents have to listen to their children, be it them talking about Friday's incidents or in general because a parent is the best judge of their child's day-to-day behavior and any changes in that behavior.

Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved.

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