ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — In the wake of the intense tragedies the nation has had the past couple of weeks — from the Buffalo Tops shooting, to the church shooting in California, to Tuesday’s school shooting in Texas — Melanie Funchess with Ubuntu Village Works says none of this is normal. 

“People are sad, people are grieving, people are feeling confused,” she said.

What IS normal she says, are those feelings to these awful, violent instances. But how as adults, do we explain something so tragic to children? 

“We need to be truthful with our child, but we also need to do it in ways that are age-appropriate,” says Funchess.

She says youngsters understand emotions like ‘sad’ and ‘angry’. “So you can explain that someone got very angry and they did a bad thing, and now people are sad,” she said.

Gory details are not necessary… but children will understand other kids were hurt. Also, be reassuring. 
“(say) but I’m going to keep you safe. I’m going to do everything in my power to keep you safe,” she said.

And parents don’t have to do this alone. There are resources out there. 

“There’s a website called ‘The National Child Traumatic Stress Network‘ and on the website, you’ll find all kinds of resources for parents, for teachers…”

Additionally, Funchess says for people going through a vicious crisis, help is abundant. She feels truly listening to a troubled person — can help stop hateful acts in their tracks. 

“There are times that being present can save somebody,” Funchess said.

Funchess says as a community, we have to choose to be a positive change. “Are we going to hide? [Or] are we going to lean into the love and the humanity of our fellow man?”