Parents explain Sandy Hook Elementary shooting to children

Experts recommend keeping kids away from images

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting that left 20 children and seven adults dead, many parents are being faced with the task of trying to explain what happened in Newtown, Connecticut to their children.

Parents like Michael Frisch said it has been tough to watch television with his family in their Palm Beach Gardens home.

The airwaves right now are dominated by the images of the shooting; a tragedy Frisch said he has been forced to explain to his three children.

"The first thing is, is why? And I don't know why. It's sad," said Frisch.

Frisch told his children, ages 4, 6 and 8, that there was a bad man who came into the school and took the lives of some of the teachers and young students.

"It's a tough balance of what you say and what they can comprehend because as a 36-year-old it's tough for me to comprehend," said Frisch.

Frisch said the shooting has affected hid oldest daughter, Julia, the most.

"I'm worried about school because what if a guy walks in like the other guy?" she said .

Psychotherapist Fran Sherman said Julia's concern is not out of the ordinary. Sherman said the worry should be met with comfort that they are safe and what happened is rare.

"The last thing we want to do is make our kids afraid to go to school. We don't want a kid to start being anxious in the morning and then become phobic about going to school," said Sherman.

Frisch said as difficult as it is to explain the shooting to his kids, the "what-if's" are even more haunting.

Before moving to Florida, the Frisch family almost moved to Newtown, CT. They would have lived just a block away from Sandy Hook Elementary.

"Our three kids would have been there you know prior to moving here. So I see these parents on T.V. and I think that could have been us," said Frisch.

Sherman said she does not recommend children watch any of the coverage of the shooting. She said if kids do happen to see images, her best advice is to never lie to them.

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