Parents should discuss ongoing violence openly with kids, expert says

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 5:00 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2021 at 5:06 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The violent crime making headlines every day is taking an emotional, physical, and economic toll on people in the Louisville area.

Last week, a 16-year-old Eastern High School student was killed while waiting for his school bus and two other teens were shot. Jeffersontown High School was also put on lockdown after officers said a man brought a gun onto school property.

At least 151 people have already died from gun violence in Louisville this year and it’s not even October — up from 119 total people killed last year. Many of the victims and suspects are children.

“If there is violence in our community, it should outrage all of us,” Dr. Stephen Taylor from UofL Health said. “If a child is killed, we should all be outraged by all that. It should be all of our priority to cope with that out loud and together.”

UofL Health – Peace Hospital shared some advice about how mental health is impacted by ongoing community violence.

“What we see kids exposed to violence is how we as adults manage that and what we do with that,” Taylor said. “Kids are going to respond to that with what we see us doing. If we don’t take us seriously, if we don’t do something about what we see and our society, in our neighborhood and culture with violence, then kids will respond to it in the same way. If we take it seriously and respond to it seriously the kids will respond to it as well.”

Taylor warns that the emotional toll violence has on children cannot be underestimated, and he urges parents to talk to their children about it openly.

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