Local Parents React to Connecticut Tragedy - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Local Parents React to Connecticut Tragedy

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Although the deadly shooting that rocked the nation was hundreds of miles away from Erie, the shock waves of horror and fear reach into our community.

It's hard to look at the images that plaster your TV screen: parents and children in agony, over the tremendous loss in their small New England town.

Parents here in Erie can only imagine what some mothers and fathers in Newtown, Connecticut are going through.

"As a mother, with a child going into kindergarten... I was shocked," said Mandi Nazimiec, a mother of two from Erie.

"For that to happen to children is the worst thing of all," said Elza Samples, who now worries for his young grandchildren.

The unthinkable tragedy is hard for anyone to grapple with, and parents struggle with how to tell their kids, or if they should even tell them at all.

"I think it's very important to talk to your children to explain everything," said Birgit Lenger of Erie. She talked to her eleven year old son and young daughter about the tragedy, because she wanted them to be aware of what happened and be able to ask questions.

Nazimiec said she's not ready to talk to her five year old son about it yet, but she instills in him that "knives and guns kill."

Dr. Linda Fleming of Gannon University has clinical experience in counseling and Psychology.

She said if you have children in grade school, they are probably aware of what happened, and the subject shouldn't be avoided.

She also said even more important than talking, is hearing what they have to say about it. "Find a time when they're open to talking, and then listen," she said.

She had some advice, too, for protecting your kids from exposure to the tragedy.

"Really monitor the amount of video, Internet access, (and) photographs" that your children take in.

For more resources on how to talk to your children about traumatic events, click here to read NAMI's (National Alliance on Mental Illness) statement about the shooting.

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