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Coping with Tragedy and How to Talk to Your Kids

October 03, 2017 05:55 PM

(ABC 6 NEWS) - A local mother who was supposed to be in Las Vegas this past weekend is sharing the rush of emotions she felt when she found out about the shooting. 

Heather Deyoung of Stewartville was supposed to go to the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival with her family this past Sunday but ended up canceling due to her brother’s wedding. 

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"Just kind of a rush of fear and just worried about my friends," said Deyoung. 

That’s how she described the moment she found out about the shooting. 

Andrea Thomas, who is a clinical counselor and runs Peaks of Hope Counseling in Rochester is now talking about how to deal with those feelings and how parents should open up to their children. 
 
"When we see something of innocent people that you know are being targeted for no apparent reason. I think it's just that feeling of it could have been me; it could have been my family. And it gives you somewhat of a little bit of a fear to do some things," said Thomas.  

Thomas says it's normal to feel overwhelmed, however isolating yourself is not. 

"We're made to be in community with people and have relationships and that's super important to share the thoughts and feelings that you're having in order to get that out and share because a lot of other people are probably feeling the same way,” added Thomas. 

Thomas, a mother herself admits she had a difficult time talking to her own daughters about the Las Vegas shootings, but says it's something that shouldn't be avoided. 

"One of the key things is just to ask questions. You know, did you hear about something bad that happened? You know, do you have questions about it. And validating their concerns and their feelings and sharing a little bit of your own but not focusing on that," said Thomas.  

As for Heather Deyoung, she just wants to help her daughter feel safe again, "She had said so mommy that could have been you. You could have been killed and I just tried to explain that you never know and that everything was gonna be okay."

Thomas also said a good piece of advice is to limit spending too much time on social media right now because it's not healthy to keep reliving the tragedy over and over again.


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