Health & Wellness

Guest Column

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

Maria Sikoutris Di Iorio of Hellenic Therapy Center

Guest Column

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting can have an emotional, psychological and physical effect on us, our families and our children.

It is important to share the facts when asked what occurred and to limit vivid upsetting media to the younger child. Teens and older kids are able to view much of the story on the internet, cell phones, etc. Our children are able to relate and personalize the incident with “what if”? Talking this through with them is essential and we want to validate their feelings, not dismiss them.  

Sign Up for E-News

Many safety questions will arise. Reassuring your children that they are safe and that everyone around them whose job is to keep them safe is doing just that is an important discussion. Keep in mind giving age appropriate information. A 3-year old, 7-year-old or even a 10-year-old doesn’t really need to know a lot of the details. If parents turn off the news on the attack, kids can still follow social media. Pre-adolescents and adolescents are at a very vulnerable age developmentally so it is so important to talk to them about what they already know and how they feel. Talk with your children about how there are things in this world that we cannot predict, bad things do happen. We live in a world where people can get hurt. You can get hurt getting out of bed in the morning.

It’s important for parents to model good coping skills. They will look to you to see how you deal with the uncertainty of life. Let them know that you do everything you can to keep them safe and that authorities are doing the same.

Help your child figure out some ways to take action to fight violence in our world. Perhaps getting involved in anti-bullying programs, find out whether their school has a group of volunteer students to help out in emergency situations, inform and educate your child on how to report suspicious activities or situations. Perhaps discussing safety measures in school can provide some comfort. We all feel better when we are able to take a tragic event such as this and do something positive to make a change.

Maria Sikoutris Di Iorio, MA, EdS, MFT, LPC, is Clinical Director at the Hellenic Therapy Center, 567 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains, NJ. The practice features a team of licensed professionals available day, evening and weekend hours for counseling. Visit or call 908-322-0112.

Editor's Note: Hellenic Therapy Center is an advertiser of TAPinto.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


East Brunswick: I Don't Wanna Close Up, I'm a Toys-R-Us Kid

March 16, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - East Brunswick used to be the home of Meyer's toy store, an almost idyllic wonderland of all sorts of Barbies, parts for swimming pools, and clanging model trains until it closed in 2002.  Kay-Bee toy store was a popular stop at the Brunswick Square Mall until 2009, with a salesperson often displaying the newest gadget outside its door, causing eager kids ...


Piscataway – Reinhard Rudolf Kiefer, 85, died Sunday March 11, 2018 at home. Born in ...
Read more
Piscataway, NJ – Manuela Cruz, 94, born July 17, 1923, passed away peacefully on March 8, ...
Read more

12th Annual Interfaith Conference – Women in Islam on March 25

March 23, 2018

 MONROE, NJ -  Muslims for Peace, Inc. proudly announces the presentation of the 12th Annual Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Interfaith Conference – Women in Islam: A Dialogue.

The Conference will be held on Sunday, March 25, 2018 at Rutgers’ Cook Campus Student Center, 54 Biel Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. This year’s Conference will be hosted by Anisa Diab and ...

Middlesex County Young Republicans Host "Road to Victory" Event at the Green Turtle

NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ -  Middlesex County Young Republican Chairman John Steiner would like to announce the Middlesex County Young Republicans "Road to Victory" Reception, which will take place on March 22 at the Green Turtle in North Brunswick from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM.

This event will serve as the official launch for the 2018 campaign season for the Middlesex ...

Free Program for People with Diabetes Offered in Piscataway

Are you a person with Medicare living with diabetes or know someone who is? Take control of your health through a free and fun six-week workshop series.

Meet others going through similar experiences and learn about diabetes and its risks, preventing complications, healthy eating, exercise, medication management, dealing with stress and depression, action planning, and much more. Graduates from ...

Hillary Clinton coming to Rutgers, event moved to RAC to handle crowd

NEW BRUNSWICK – Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics will host former presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton on March 29.

Originally scheduled for the College Avenue Gym, the event, entitled “A Conversation with the Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton,” has been moved to the Rutgers Athletic Center “due to the extraordinary level of ...

Holy Savior Academy Storm Varsity Basketball News

The Holy Savior Academy Storm Varsity basketball team concluded a very successful season by capturing two championships over the weekend.  The Storm continued the basketball program’s winning ways when the team captured the school’s fourth consecutive Diocese of Metuchen CYM Varsity White Division Championship on its home court on Saturday evening.  The team then secured the ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, March 24, 11:00 AM

Piscataway Little League Fields, Piscataway

Annual Piscataway Easter Egg Hunt

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, March 24, 12:00 PM

Middlesex County College - Center Cafe C, Edison

Mission 22 United in the War Against Veteran ...

Sat, March 24, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey , New Brunswick

Motown the Musical

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, March 25, 8:00 AM

St. Francis Episcopal Church, Dunellen

Palm Sunday

Religions And Spirituality

Sun, March 25, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey , New Brunswick

Motown the Musical

Arts & Entertainment

Springfield Fire Department Delivers Baby on West I-78

March 21, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - On March 20, 2018 at 8:14 a.m. the Springfield Fire Department was dispatched to Route 78 Westbound near milepost 50.2 for a report of a woman in labor on the side of the road.  

Captain Mastroeni (Unit 2) & Chief Palumbo (Unit 1) were the first units to arrive on scene, and quickly recognized that the woman would be unable to make it to the hospital in time for ...

Coffee, Tea or Fleas?

Two ducks are on a flight to Miami.  The first duck says to the second, “you flying south for the winter?”  The second duck replies, “Oh wow, a talking emotional support duck!”


Pa rum pum.


There have been a lot of news stories lately about animals traveling on airplanes.  Some are humorous, like the woman who recently tried to bring ...