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Talking to your kids about Gannon Stauch: therapist weighs in

Posted at 10:27 PM, Feb 05, 2020
and last updated 2021-01-06 11:13:00-05

EL PASO COUNTY — It's been more than a week since 11-year-old Gannon Stauch went missing from his Lorson Ranch neighborhood.

With so many unanswered questions it can be challenging as a parent to know what to say to your kids in a situation like this.

"If he maybe got lost or if something happened to him, or someone did something to him."

It's thoughts and questions like these that are running through the mind of 12-year-old Nadine Marcinek. She's just a year older than Gannon.

Rachel Stein, Nadine's mom, said, "My first reaction was shocked."

Her kids go to Gannon's school. After learning of his disappearance she started talking to Nadine right away.

"I feel talking honestly about what's going on kind of helps her feel better and not feel as scared."

It's something therapist David Bell says kids could be feeling right now.

"Definitely for the kids I think one of the things it's going to do is it's going to cause anxiety...because if this happened to my friend can it happen to me?"

He said, "The reality is not a lot of these actually happen. People don't just disappear everyday."

So letting your kids know that they're safe is huge.

When it comes to dealing with their anxiety and stress Bell said, "Talk with the kids. If they're talking about the situation and concerned with it talk with them, listen to them."

If you have a child who isn't being vocal about the situation ask them if they're aware of it.

"Chances are the kid will say yeah...just the simple question: How are you feeling about it? And then just let the kid talk and if he doesn't want to talk about it then that's okay...if everything seems normal let the kid bring it up in his own time."

Bell also suggests to not make "conjectures ourselves about what happened...because then you're planting those seeds."

As far as keeping the conversation going until more is revealed about where Gannon is Bell said, "I think it's one of those - we recognize it's there. It's an issue."

But after that his advice is to keep moving forward.

We did talk to School District 3 where Gannon is a student. We're told they do have extra counselors, social workers, and psychologists on campus to help the kids at school cope with Gannon going missing.