KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Stories about abduction and murder are difficult for parents, even more so for their children. But parenting experts say it's important to seize the opportunity to have honest conversations with your kids. Ask your children what they've heard and what questions they have about the story.
Those two questions can go a long way in easing your mind and theirs.
"I think it's really difficult when things like this happen on the news with children, and it's really appropriate for parents to limit their media exposure in cases," explained Debbie Karlstrand
Karlstrand works with Family Conservancy, an organization dedicated to helping kids and families. She says if they do see any of the media exposure, be ready to talk to them.
If you don't have those conversations, it's true they might get mis-information at school or after-school activities from their peers and friends. She says the best thing you can do for your children is to have age appropriate conversations with them and try to make them feel safe and secure.
"Perfect opportunity to talk about lot of different safety scenarios with your children and what you expect and they can kind of ask questions," she said.
What's a safety scenario? Simple, let your children know how they can act if they feel they are in trouble.
"Letting them know it's okay if someone approaches them to yell to scream to get away to be specific, and say I need help, call 911 and given those tools so they feel empowered," she said.
If they have a cell phone, have them call you if someone says you sent them to pick them up. If they don't have a phone, use a secret password. It's simple and can go a long way.
"I think it's a good way and its a good tool honestly it gives children that sense of empowerment and that they can attempt to keep themselves safe," Karlstrand said.
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