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San Bernardino school shooting: What can parents tell kids?

Betty Rodriguez, right, comforts her granddaughter Giselle, 11, during a prayer service held to honor the shooting victims at North Park Elementary School, Monday, April 10, 2017, in San Bernardino, Calif. A man walked into his estranged wife's elementary school classroom in San Bernardino and opened deadly fire on Monday.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Betty Rodriguez, right, comforts her granddaughter Giselle, 11, during a prayer service held to honor the shooting victims at North Park Elementary School, Monday, April 10, 2017, in San Bernardino, Calif. A man walked into his estranged wife's elementary school classroom in San Bernardino and opened deadly fire on Monday. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/AP

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North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino is closed for the next few days after a tragic shooting in one of school’s classrooms left a teacher, student and the man who shot them dead. 

Both parents and the children who were at the school are left to try and make sense of Monday's ordeal. KPCC’s Alex Cohen spoke with Sharon Lee, a parent educator and former kindergarten teacher on Morning Edition about some things to consider when talking with your children after this kind of incident. 

Here are some highlights:

On an approach parents can take

"I like to use Dr. Tina Bryson’s four S’s … she believes in teaching them to be seen, soothed, safe and secure, so we communicate that with our children every day, saying ‘I acknowledge your feelings, I know that you feel there are monsters, you might think they’re under the bed, mommy’s here with you, we’re here to protect you … this kind of dialogue is going to be a routine in how you attempt to speak to your child about any situation.”

On what parents can do to prepare

"I think everything takes time to process. Keep in mind for ourselves as adults, we make these connections and it brings up old fears and all these other experiences come to surface, including this one now. The best way I think to kind of deal with it is to take care of ourselves … make sure we’re in a solid place where we can be more mindful of who we are and our actions, because again, that trickles down to our children. Find ways we can help, to reach out, to share empathy with communities."

Click on the blue play button above to listen to the whole interview.