Dr. Paul Friday: How Parents Can Be There For Their Children After Tragedy

Tragedy strikes again, another school shooting in Texas

Robert Mangino
May 18, 2018 - 6:27 pm
Mom Comforting Daughter


A 17-year-old opened fire Friday morning at a Houston-area high school killing 10 people.  This attack is being descried as the nation’s deadliest attack since the Parkland, Florida shooting. 

These mass shootings are not only causing the surviving students distress, but also their parents.

Dr. Paul Friday, Chief of Clinical Psychology at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center of Shadyside told the KDKA Radio Afternoon News, “This tragedy is something that drives the fear stake in every parent’s heart and it’s done so because of the part of the brain that personalizes every negative thing they hear.”

Dr. Friday said there are two antidotes, prayers and statistics.  “Prayer is located in the pre-frontal cortex part of the brain where we can think of things that are more calming and protecting.  Statistics is located in the parietal lobe and this is the way the adult tries to fix things.”

Dr. Friday said the biggest key is to listen to your children.  “Make sure as a parent you are creating an environment where your children have the ability to express what they feel whether it be good, bad or ugly.”

“If they are not concerned, you don’t have to give them the concern that you have.  You are the parent, you love the child, you’ll do anything, you’d take the bullet, but if the child is not expressing what you are feelings inside you don’t have to give it to them.  Just be available to listen to them.”