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Experts offer advice on how to talk about how to help your kids cope after tragedies

Dayton Children’s Hospital pediatric psychologist Joy Miceli has some helpful advice. (WKEF/WRGT)

DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Following the West Dayton shooting involving two children, some parents wonder how to talk about it with their kids.

Dayton Children’s Hospital pediatric psychologist Joy Miceli has some helpful advice.

She said you need to figure out what your kids already know about the shooting.

“The important thing to remember is we need to take our cues from how kids are responding,” Miceli said.

You need to ask them how they're feeling about it, putting yourself in their shoes.

“For most kids their primary feeling is going to be anxiety and worry,” Miceli said.

Joy said to keep your eyes open for any changes in behavior.

“You might see sleep difficulties, they might be more emotional or more reactive, maybe more crying whining,” Miceli said. ”Look for some of those things.”

So how do you help?

You have to explain what happened.

“The information you give to a six-year-old will be very different than what you give to a 12-year-old or 15-year-old,” Miceli said.

Your approach may vary. For younger kids, Joy has a sample explanation.

“We don't always understand what's going on inside somebody,” Miceli explained “They might be sick sometimes people’s hearts really hurt.”

Make it simple and always be willing to answer questions, no matter how difficult it may be.

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