Helping kids understand the Moore tornado

May 21, 2013 3:01:16 PM PDT
Once again we are watching as tragedy unfolds. The images of devastation from the tornado in Oklahoma are all around.They are heartbreaking and for children, can be scary.

As a mother of three, Jen Curyto of Narberth, Pennsylvania, has dealt with recent tragedies in a variety of ways. After the shooting in Newtown, her older daughter Mikaela started asking questions.

She says, "I always answer her honestly. If you don't or if you seem scared to discuss the topic then it is going to be scary for her."

Marybeth Mullarkey tells me she does the same with her school-aged children Jack and Meghan.

"I think it's good for kids to know what's going on in the world today but I also think things need to be edited as far as what they are going to view all the time," she notes.

Experts say that's the right advice to follow as yet another tragedy strikes - this time in Oklahoma.

For older kids, answer their questions honestly but without graphic details.

Reassure them they're safe, but limit how much coverage they're watching.

Also try to point out the positive, such as the many people helping victims of the twister.

And although tornadoes are not frequent dangers in our area, some kids are already scared of storms. News of this tornado can make things even worse.

Child psychologists say in this case, give them more information, more education about storms. Many times learning more can help alleviate fears.