Expert: How to talk to kids about bomb plot

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by Stephanie Stricklen, KGW Staff

kgw.com

Posted on November 30, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 30 at 10:40 AM

PORTLAND -- At work, with friends, around the dinner table; so many of us are freely talking about the bomb plot in Portland's Pioneer Square. But what should you say to your children?

KGW got expert advice from a child psychiatrist.

Providence psychiatrist Jessica Hitchcock began by pointing out that if you don't tell your child about the failed bomb plot, he or she will likely hear it at school.

She said all children react differently. Some may feel afraid. Or it may just roll off the backs of others.

Dr. Hitchcock said the best place to start, is by asking them first what they know. Then, what they want to know. Also ask them how they feel about it.

"I think it’s really important to model for them how to deal with frightening situations," she explained. "This scares all of us. We're all at risk. So I think you model honesty first of all: 'Yeah, that scared me, too. And it’s scary that something like this can happen in our home town.' And then you say, 'here's what we do to stay safe,' it should help them deal with it," said Dr. Hitchcock.

Parents can also help children identify people in the community who make them feel safe and encourage them to talk about it with those people.

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