Tips for Talking to Children About the Tragic Death of Lizzy Shelley

May 30, 2019, 10:09 PM | Updated: May 31, 2019, 5:07 am

LOGAN, Utah — A single stuffed animal is often enough to chase a bad day away.

“We wanted them to know that our prayers are with them,” Utah County resident Catherine Taylor said. “We brought this little puppy and we wanted them to know we love them even though we don’t know them.”

Sometimes, though… there aren’t enough stuffed animals.

“I’m sure there are many people out there who are feeling the same way we are,” Taylor said.

Taylor came all the way from Utah Count to drop one off at this Logan home.

Hers is now one of the latest additions to show love for Elizabeth Shelley’s family.

Another came from Logan resident Trina Wardell and her son Dante.

“She’s an angel now and you can tell she’s got lots and lots of people who love her,” Wardell said.

Dante has had some concerns about why little Lizzy isn’t OK.

Many parents are trying to find the right words when their children start asking those tough questions about what happened to her.

“You want to talk to your kids about this — about ‘how do you feel about this situation,'” said Kira Bettinger, a crisis worker at Logan Regional Hospital.

Crisis workers said it’s natural for children to be curious, but you should also try to find out just how much your child knows.

“Get an idea of what they’re going through emotionally to best help them reassure them that they’re safe,” said Bettinger.

It’s also important to watch them… for any signs showing they’re scared about what happened.

“Things like… sometimes kids become more irritable,” Kate Packer, another crisis worker, said. “(Watch for) anger issues and aggression that normally isn’t part of their behavior.”

And, like all the stuffed animals, you can show them and tell them there’s a lot of love in the world.

Additional resources

Additional resources are available for people who may need help dealing with this tragedy.

Safe Utah App

Bear River Mental Health 

Intermountain Logan Psychiatry

Logan Regional Hospital

The Family Place 

KSL 5 TV Live

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Tips for Talking to Children About the Tragic Death of Lizzy Shelley