Social worker offers parents advice on how to talk to children about recent violence

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INDIANAPOLIS – Riding through neighborhoods and by summer camps to see children playing shows the sites and sounds of innocence. But it’s hard to protect them from the news of recent violence in our city.

Without a proper discussion this could impact children in ways adults don’t realize.

“You might ask them are there things they’re afraid of are there things causing them worry and address it from that angle,” said St. Vincent licensed clinical social worker, Mandy Grella.

Grella says it’s at the parents discretion to discuss violence with their children, in the meantime look for signs to how they react to bad news.

“Trying to identify changes in their behavior. If they’re wanting to be with mom and dad a little bit more than usual maybe not wanting to go to school and
changes in their behavior,” said Grella.

For some children the impact of violence hits head on. The man charged with killing IMPD officer Perry Renn, Major Davis II, has a son of his own. Davis’ father died during a struggle with police in 2003. Chief Rick Hite says that young boy needs to be protected from what could be a vicious cycle.

“If the family and the community have learned anything that we have to reach out to children when they’re small and lead them in the right way and help them
process all this adult information he’s gonna have to hear. Someone is gonna have to help him process that so we don’t have a repeat performance,” said Chief Rick Hite.