"You can tell me anything."
Here's a shocking fact: Up to 75 percent of teenagers will tell someone of their intentions before committing homicide or suicide, says Borba. The problem is that too many kids are afraid to reveal what they overhear from their classmates. "Kids are so concerned about peer pressure and how others perceive them that they're reluctant to tell parents or teachers if they listen to another student making scary threats," she says.
Explain that when other children say things about harming themselves or others, the grown-up thing to do is tell someone else. "It's not snitching if someone's life is in danger," Borba says. "The best metal detector a school has is another child."
"How can we help these families?"
One of the best ways to help young children cope with tragic situations is to trigger their sense of purpose, says Borba.
"If you're religious, maybe you say a prayer for the injured people and their families, maybe you can light a candle -- whatever your traditions are." Or your kids might want to make cards to send to students at the school, for example.
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