ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Some parents will have to answer difficult questions about the elementary school shooting in Texas. The conversation for each family will sound different around the dinner table.

“We don’t know why this happened,” said Sara Salitan-Thiell, a social worker for the North Colonie School District. “I’m really upset by this. My kids knew by the look on my face I was really upset last night.”

She knows firsthand how to approach Tuesday’s tragedy in Texas with sensitivity and how to talk to the youngest members of your family. “I’m a social worker, but I say this as a parent,” Salitan-Thiell explained. “I always want them to get information from me first. I err on the side of, ‘Hey guys, I want you to know this happened.”

Schools reassured families in the Capital Region that students are safe and supported. Meanwhile, Salitan-Thiell emphasized the importance of starting the conversation at home—or keeping it going—to help kids cope with a crisis better. She said that parents should be aware of the media they consume and the conversations they have with other adults when their kids are around.

However, it’s impossible to completely shield children from the horrors of the massacre, as Salitan-Thiell points out they are bound to come across the information through social media or other their peers at school. “Yesterday, a lot of kids knew,” she said. “Having electronics changed the game for everybody.”

She recommended finding out what your children know and encouraging them to ask questions. The details you share depend on their age; if they are young, keep the information simple. “If you have a very young child, they may not be exposed to anything,” Salitan-Thiell said.

Be ready to answer their questions and encourage an open dialogue. Regardless of their age, try to make sure they understand that home is a safe place to ask questions and express themselves. And remind your kids that teachers and administrators at their schools are working to keep them safe.

“We talk about what we can control,” Salitan-Thiell said. “If you’re feeling upset or scared we can have a conversation with your teacher. We can talk to school counselors.”