Beyond the Headlines

Show topic: Talking to Kids about Gun Violence

February 3, 2013
Talking to Kids about Gun Violence
Hosted by ABC7's Cheryl Jennings

In this week's episode of "Beyond the Headlines," we explore the difficult but important topic of gun violence. We will discuss ways for you to talk to your children, no matter what age, about the painful realities of this violence in our communities.

For adults, mass shootings are terrifying and sometimes leave us without answers. But when our children ask us for answers, what do we tell them?

We'll hear from a local psychologist with children of his own, an Oakland mother who tragically lost two of her sons to gun violence, the SFPOA President to discuss responsible gun ownership, and a local high school student who is making a difference in her community.

Studio Guests

Dr. Nicholas Ladany
Dean, School of Education and Counseling Psychology
Santa Clara University

Lorrain Taylor
1,000 Mothers to Prevent Violence

Gary Delagnes
San Francisco Police Officers Association

Patricia Murillo
Executive Director
Alternatives in Action

Katebah Al-Olefi
Student Youth Coach
Season of Peace Building

Additional Information

How to speak with kids about violent events:
"CLEAR" by Dr. Nick Ladany:

  • C - Calm (As a parent, it becomes important to calm oneself before speaking with your child. Work through as best you can your fears. You child will pick up on excessive anxiety.)
  • L - Listen (It's critically important to listen to what you child is saying and spend time just listening before breaking in and trying to convey that you understand what they are saying)
  • E - Empathize and normalize (Children and adolescents can have a variety of reactions to these events and it's important to accept their reactions, whether it's fear, anxiety, anger, hate, or something more behavioral for the younger kids such as nightmares or physical symptoms such as tummy troubles; it's also important to be aware of the potential for delayed reactions that could occur days, weeks, or months past the initial event)
  • A - Avoid too much exposure to the news and commentary on an event (It's better to explain what is happening to a child rather than rely on the dramatized manner in which events are conveyed in the media)
  • R - Rare (Events such as the one in Sandy Hook are extremely rare and our heightened awareness should not be misinterpreted as immediate risk)

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