ORLANDO, Fla. – Central Florida parents are feeling the effects of the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, which has left the nation in mourning.
Greg Lashley was at Lake Silver elementary school in Orlando to pick up his 8-year-old grandson and was feeling frustrated.
“There are many, many problems that need to be addressed and they’re not being addressed when it comes to overall guns, children’s safety,” Lashley said. “Every day you think about that— those sort of things. It’s just sad that children have to worry about that; their parents, grandparents.”
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The attack at Robb Elementary School has not only caused a sense of frustration and pain, but has also left families with a tough task: How to talk to their children about what happened.
“It’s a difficult conversation to have with kids and trying to teach them things and make sure they understand what happens in this world,” Daniel Juarez, a father of two, said. “It’s just sad to have to teach that stuff now at this age it’s a very difficult thing to do.”
Jack Murray said it’s a conversation he has yet to have with his 11-year-old daughter.
“My wife and I are talking about it, you know since it’s not in our direct face right now, it’s like do we want to expose our children to that conversation?” Murray said.
Tammy Austin is a mental health counselor in Orlando and owns Journey’s End Counseling. Austin said although parents may be feeling fear or anxiety, it’s important their children don’t pick up on those emotions, as well as for parents to give children a sense of normalcy.
“People need to be aware that things like this unfortunately could happen again and so I (recommend) also creating a safe space for children to be able to talk about their fears and concerns,” Austin said. “Parents as best as they can need to try and be that stabilizing force for their children.”