LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — For many families talking about the potential of gun violence in school is never easy.
One Las Vegas family says while it’s hard, it’s also necessary to make your children are alert.
Phil Hoover is a father and expressed the need to have an open conversation with children.
“Just starting the conversation is the important part. As you go, the conversation flows more but it’s not easier,” Hoover said.
Joy and Phil Hoover are talking about gun violence with their two young daughters.
Both parents agreed dropping off their daughters at school after hearing about the shooting at the Texas elementary school wasn’t easy.
They say what brings them peace of mind is knowing both 9-year-old Vivian and 5-year-old Ruby are educated on what to do if an emergency happens.
“We have a hard lockdown if that does happen we turn off all the lights and lock all the doors,” explained Vivian.
She quickly stepped in to comfort her younger sister as the conversation can get overwhelming.
Psychiatrist Dr. Sid Khurana with Nevada Mental Health says preparation helps.
Khurana says proactive dialogues with parents, teachers, and the community are key.
“If the child is getting more and more scared or upset by me talking it’s time to stop. It’s time for me to take a break and let them process and digest what we have said and let them come back and be ready for the next round,” he added.
The Hoovers also believe being involved in community events helps their daughters understand what’s happening and say being proactive works for them.
“I don’t think there is a perfect answer, I think the answer is what is going to work best for your family, but I think the best thing to do is to say something,” Hoover added.
The Hoover family says the first step is always the hardest.
Their advice to other families is to reach out to teachers or community organizations to help start that difficult conversation.