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Talking to your kids about the events in Newtown

DEERFIELD, N.Y. (WKTV) - Many parents are feeling uneasy about sending their kids back to school on Monday, and some are still unsure how to talk about what happened in Newtown Connecticut with their kids. NEWSChannel 2 sat down with a local social worker to get his thoughts about keeping kids informed.

"It's going to be scary for some..maybe not as much for the kids depending on their understanding, but for parents," said Michael Stalteri, a licensed social worker that runs an office out of Herkimer. "At this point, striving for normalcy is going to be a huge task for many people. You already have a way of doing things, you already have typical patterns of behavior. Don't disrupt that, do what's normal. Stay with what's normal, send your children to school. It's the safest place for children in the world."

Stalteri says keep an open line of communication with your child. If your child is older, have a conversation. If your child is younger, reassure them they are loved-- and they are safe. "That's all they need at that level. To get into a deep conversation with them at that level about the how's and the why's and the what if's...it's not going to be helpful for them. The older kids need to sit down with the right professionals to do that," said Stalteri. "And that's the key right now is to put it and package it at the right level that the child can understand."

"We all know when there is something bothering our children," said Stalteri. "Your teachers will know because they are experts at it and parents will know because you are so connected. So trust your judgement. If you are feeling like this is weighing on them and they are catching clips on the tv, make sure that you address it in a way that they can digest it."

There are some questions your child might ask that you just won't have an answer for. Stalteri says-- that's ok. "Don't be afraid to tell you children you don't know why," said Stalteri. "It's ok for them to learn the lesson of life that there's not an answer for everything."

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