HOUSTON - Like mass shootings in general, school shootings have gone from being a rare tragedy to a tragic reality.
Already in 2018 there have been at least 17 instances of gun violence in U.S. schools, including the shooting Wednesday at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
In one recent attack at a Kentucky middle school, two children were killed and 18 others were wounded when a fellow student opened gunfire.
How can you possibly explain these shootings to your kids and how to do you talk about it?
NBC News put questions to mental health experts who are also parents dealing with these concerns at home. Here are their best strategies to keep the lines of communication open and your own emotions in check.
Have your own support system and self-care rituals
For your own sake and your children’s, it’s critical that you make time to quell your own anxieties before diving into the issue at hand.
“To have these conversations open and honestly you need to take care of yourself as a parent,” says Kristin Wilson, a licensed professional counselor and clinician with a teenage daughter. “Have your own support system in a spouse or friend or another go-to person, so that when you're talking to your child you've already processed through it.”
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