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Bringing the headlines home

Experts say have a plan for talking to your kids about what's happening in the world / Ronshad Berry (WGXA)

Dr. Christopher Grant is the father of three children.

"I let my kids watch as much news as they're willing to watch. My children generally have no interest in watching the news. They criticize Poppy for watching the news," Dr. Grant said.

But every now and then some things happen in the world that even these three can't avoid.

More recently, the mass shootings in Las Vegas. That's when the questions start.

"The morning after the shootings, they were interested and started asking questions and I think it was pretty upsetting for them. We didn't go into a great graphic detail but we did try to explain there are people in the world that for a variety of reasons have issues, they're mentally ill and they shoot other people," he said.

It's not always an easy conversation to have.

"With things like the confederate monuments and white supremacy issues of more recent times, we've been concerned about how we present those things to our children," Grant said. "Our children have grown up in a multi-racial, multi-ethnic society, even in our own family. They do worry when they hear that there's prejudice against one group of people because they may have relatives apart of that group."

But having a plan can make it easier. Dr. Michael Johns is a psychologist in Macon.

"The question isn't whether they should watch the news, it's how much did they actually see and how much input do you have about what they see," Johns said.

He said kids see news everywhere - from their tablet to their classroom. They even overhear it at home, so when they get nervous or ask questions, be ready.

"You want to know what you want to say based on the age of the child," Johns said.

Keep the conversation one on one, or with your family.

"Secondly you're going to want to have quiet time where you're going to have access to your child, preferably not in a room with other kids so that you can talk to them at their developmental level," Johns said. "Then thirdly you want to listen to make sure you understand what their knowledge of what's going on is and at that point you can intercede and say this is what I believe, this is what the facts are, this is what I know."

For Grant, having open discussions helps put his children at ease by reminding them that their parents will always be there for them.

"That we do things to keep them safe, to keep them protected which is generally what children want to know - that they're gonna be safe," Grant said. "But these things do happen and it's a shame in the world that they happen."

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