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Explaining The Connecticut Tragedy To Your Children

(Credit: Getty Images)

(Credit: Getty Images)

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By Tim Jimenez And Dan Wing

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Many parents here and across the country are trying to find the right words for their own children about the school shooting in Connecticut.

A conversation parents wish they wouldn’t need to have. Talking to their young kids about senseless violence taking place in the classroom where they should feel safe. Dr. Stephen Treat is CEO of the Council for Relationships. He says it’s important to have this discussion but to make sure you’re prepared for it as well.

“To really get a hold of your own emotions before you talk to your kids about it because you don’t want to project a lot of anxiety or fear into the child. There’s already enough fear in the story.”

And he says that fear projected on the TV screen might be too much.

“You know it’s important to turn the TV off frankly. Don’t let the kids see the images play over and over and over again.”

And he adds as many have said in the wake of this tragedy, hugging your kids a little tighter, making them feel secure.

In the wake of Friday’s tragic shooting, parents wonder would my children be safe in an attack like this?

Retired New Jersey State Police Officer Dennis Tully, who served as Executive Officer of Special Operations under the Homeland Security Bureau and who is now the president of Ronan Security Solutions, a South Jersey based security consulting firm, says it’s hard to find any common thread or to predict incidents like these.

“What we found through a lot of research and a lot of experience is, really, there’s only 1 constant among those involved at the heart of these incidents, and it’s always that after the fact they say ‘we never thought it could happen here.’”

Tully says places like schools should hold training sessions for students and staff, instead of relying on security systems alone.

He also advises parents to look into a schools security measures, and if they don’t have any in place, you may want to think about going somewhere else.