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Expert Says Parents Should Be Prepared When Kids Hear Lurid News Stories

(Jerry Sandusky, in file photo)

(Jerry Sandusky, in file photo)

Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
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By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With testimony in the Jerry Sandusky trial being spelled out in media accounts (see related story), parents are finding themselves in a difficult position.

Try as you might to protect them, there is a chance that your child may have heard some of the lurid details of the case.  So how do you talk to your children about it?

luebbert Expert Says Parents Should Be Prepared When Kids Hear Lurid News Stories

(Dr. James Luebbert. Photo provided)

Dr. James Luebbert (right), director of child and adolescent psychiatry at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, says the number one factor is to be available to answer your child’s questions.  And when you do, he advises, be straightforward.

“But answer it in a way that makes sense for a child at that age — we all know what our children are able to understand at given ages — and then to only give them the information they are asking for,” he suggests.

And for tweens or teens who are in general exposed to more media accounts because they visit news web sites for school assignments, “If there are questions — and they can be pretty direct and challenging for parents — that’s a pretty big step toward making sure that there is adequate support and response from the parent to have that communication.”

Hear the full interview with Dr. James Luebbert in this CBS Philly podcast…

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In addition, Leubbert says, letting your child know if there is something happening they don’t feel is right, telling you right away is their best step to keeping themselves safe.

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