What to do if your kids saw fatal shooting posted on Facebook

Posted at 6:14 PM, Apr 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-18 18:14:40-04

Steve Stephens' disturbing video showing him fatally shooting Robert Godwin is the latest social media post available for users of all ages to see without you even knowing it.

“Our kids, although they should not have seen this, I'm sure a lot have,” said Cleveland Police Chief, Calvin Williams.

According to licensed mental health therapist Wendy Pegan, the roughly one minute video can leave a lasting impression on young viewers. “The more we see these things, the more it puts us at a level of elevated agitation, more exaggerated anxiety,” she said.

Pegan said it can cause things like sleep problems, or a loss of appetite. But, there are ways to treat it if you think your child is upset after seeing the video. Pegan said parents should acknowledge the video, and emphasize the actions it contains are not the behaviors of an average person. The best thing to do is to talk about it. “Just asking open ended questions where maybe a child has an opportunity to tell you I'm really scared.”

She said it's also important to explain this video is an extreme case and isn't the norm. Above all, she advised parents (and school officials) to keep a close eye on your child's social media activity at all times.