Clearwater psychologist Michael Greenberg specializes in treating anxiety at the Florida Center for Cognitive Therapy. He says the school shooting in Connecticut may be far away, but for parents everywhere it doesn't get any closer to home.
"What his happening in Connecticut might as well have happened at the next county around the corner," said Greenberg.
Greenberg said parents should shield younger children from hearing about the shootings if they don't already know something. "It's best to let sleeping dogs lie."
But if they do know about the shootings he advises parents to have honest discussions about what happened while keeping the danger in perspective.
And if kids want to show expressions of sympathy for the slain children, teachers and their families, that can be a healthy step toward coping with the horror of what happened.
"There are going to be a lot of hurting families so if they feel a need to donate something or write a card and sign something on the Internet then I think that would be entirely appropriate," Greenberg said.