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‘It’s still rare,’ says child psychiatrist about Newtown school shooting

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Elias Sarkis, M.D., child and adolescent psychiatrist, spoke to WUFT this afternoon about the possible effects of Friday’s shooting on children.

We need to know that it’s still rare, it’s still isolated, these things don’t happen all the time everywhere. They do happen occasionally, but with today’s media, with our TV coverage, it feels like it happens a lot all over the place.

I think adults need to calm themselves down before they talk to kids, and as they talk to kids, they should answer the kid’s questions, and be appropriate with the kid. I think the child will be calmer if the parent is calm. If the parent has issues, then the parent needs to calm down before they talk to the kid.

…(parents) should not allow their children to watch too much television coverage of this type of event.

I think the impact is really mediated by the adult’s response. If the adult gets very anxious, then the child will get very anxious. The adult takes care of themselves and really calms down before presenting it to the child, then the child will be able to buffer it better. Then of course, depending on how other kids react in the classroom is going to impact how the kids feel. These are things that are happening, unfortunately. There’s a lot of violence in our society, there’s a lot of violence in our media, there’s a lot of violence in the video games, and I think that’s an issue that needs to be addressed in the long term.

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  • Shameful

    It is beyond disgusting to be blaming video games for this horrific tragedy. Shame on you, Dr. Sarkis.