The tragic situation in Colorado has instilled fear in many people across the country, especially children, who may now be scared to go to a movie theater.
“It would be absolutely normal for parents, adults and children to be nervous about going to the movies now,” said Dawn Keller, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.
Keller says Friday's massacre is one of those horrific events Mom and Dad must now incorporate into their daily parenting skills.
“It is a very big deal that this happened,” said Keller.
Keller's advice for those of you with small children is to find out what they already know about the incident.
“You don't want to just launch in and tell them and explain things to them. You give them only as much as they are comfortable with and that meets them at their developmental level,” said Keller.
And if they do not know anything at all…
“There's no need to have the conversation. Don't bring it up if they don't know anything about it,” said Keller.
Keller offers a different strategy for kids a little bit older, say teenagers or pre-teens.
“You acknowledge that a bad thing happened and it's sad, but you reaffirm that we're safe. This didn't happen to us and it doesn't happen everyday,” said Keller.
We found families out at River Park in Fresno, some of whom were going to see the new Batman film.
One father explained why he chose to talk to his 7-year old son about the shooting.
“I think it's more about nurturing, making sure your kids know what's going on around them and hopefully it will prevent it in the near future.”
Keller says if your child does not want to go to the theater for a while you should honor their wish. Once they show they're ready to return, ease them into it by going during the day time and choosing a comedy or light-hearted film.