Helping children cope with tragic situations - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Helping children cope with tragic situations

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

An overnight shooting at a movie theater hundreds of miles away hits home for many in our area.

"It's a fallen world," said Jim Albrecht, who lives in Wausau. "It's sad. But it is, it's a fallen world. You just hope that there will be some good that comes out of it. I feel badly for the people who lost their lives and their families."

"Anything could happen anywhere even at a theater or a park or anything," said Maria Segura, who lives in Wausau. "It's just a sad thing."

Segura said her two children are too young to understand. But just thinking about the shooting scares her.

"I just think it's a tragic thing for anybody to have to go through something like that," said Segura. "It really breaks your heart that there are crazy people out there who can do something like that."

And she's not alone. Counselors said coping with intense situations can be difficult for parents who instinctively want to protect their children.

"If they're sad, let them be sad," said Lee Shipway, who is the co-executive director of Peaceful Solutions Counseling in Wausau. "And if they're going to cry, let them cry. Then hold them, comfort them but let the feeling work its way through until that feeling is done.

Shipway said young children are often not prepared to handle tragedies.

"Parents sometimes feel like they need to have all the answers," said Shipway. "That's not the important thing. The important thing is listening and being there for them and just showing that you care."

As families in Wisconsin -- and in Colorado -- try to cope, many said they refuse to live in fear. Instead, they look forward with hope.

"You can't always worry all the time because if you do, what's the point?" said Segura.

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