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Talking to your child after Pittsburgh shooting

A mass shooting at a synagogue by a man who expressed hatred toward Jewish people. A prominent supporter of president trump charged with mailing explosives.

There is no denying that these are hate inspired acts, and there is no way around shielding children from it.

“Children are great observers, but poor interpreters. They’re going to pick up on a lot of stuff.”

Kevin Lindley is a licensed Clinical Counselor with the Sullivan mental health services.

He says transparency is key for parents when your kids have questions even if you are unsure.

“They’ll know if we’re stressed, they’ll know when there’s danger. They pick up on parts of stories, and a lot of times they don’t feel comfortable bringing up certain questions or concerns, they just kind of make assumptions.”

In the wake of Saturday’s shooting at the tree of life synagogue where anti-semantic remarks were reportedly made, it opens the door to a larger conversation.

“The best way to combat hate is to get to know people, and I think its really hard to hate people; we know it’s easy to hate people. We don’t know that is unknown for the level of fear that’s there.”

Julie George is a mom of four girls. She makes it a priority to keep the dialogue with her children open, especially when answering those tough questions.

“Kind of talking to them about things beforehand, particularly because my kids are biracial, and I feel like some of those issues might be more prevalent for them early on as opposed to their peers.”

“It’s very much a part of our life, and so I want them to be as involved as they can be to understand this is not how we treat people and the potential for somebody to treat you like this is high.”

Lindley advises parents to monitor how much media your child consumes and watch for any questionable posts on social media.

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