Tampa, Florida - Theircherub-like, littlefaces on television break your heart, knowing that they witnessed such a barbaric event.
Childrenare the tiniest of victims in this tragic shooting in Connecticut, innocent and pure, lost in a world of chaos and evil asthis horrific caseunfolded before their very eyes.
Witnessing such anunthinkable act of cruelty, little ones often have questions, and they should.They, along with all of us, just don't understand how and why this would ever happen.
Someone who has seen evil firsthand over the years is well-known and well-respected Tampa psychiatrist Dr. Walter Afield. In fact, for the past 55 years, he's handled thousands and thousands of cases, and counseled countless children.
He spoke with 10 News and offered advice for parents as moms and dads approach the tender topic of what took place in Connecticut.
Many parents may be puzzled as to how to handle questions and answers from their children.
Dr. Afield says that parents should absolutely talk openly this shooting.
"I think any child who sees this on TV will be shocked- which he will see tonight or today- is going to be shocked."
Dr. Afield says they may think, "'Is this going to happen to me?What's going to happen to me and my mommy or daddy?'"
"That's the first feeling, my gosh. It is revolting," says Afield of their thoughts. "This is the kind of thing children never used to see."
He gives an example of what to say to your child.
"We're together; we love you. You're under our protection. We'll take care of you," said Dr. Afield.
And, most importantly says Dr. Afield, above all else - keep it basic.
"Kids are smart and savvy," he told us. "They are very aware of their surroundings, but they are still kids. A five-year-old is still a five-year-old."
He cautions - No deep analysis, he says,on death.
"They don't process it very well. They process it very differently than you and me. Death, they don't understand the finality of it," he explained. "They think you're flying around on angel wings. They don't understand it. Even kindergartners don't."
The best thing you can do, Dr. Afield told us, is show your children love and affection and comfort. Keep them busy. Take them out this weekend shopping, do normal things, and encourage them to keep the victims in their thoughts and prayers.
Dr. Afield adds to keepyour kidsclose, assure them everything will be okay, and by all means, he says, keep them in school so that their routine is not disrupted.
"They need to know everything is normal for them right now."
Dr. Afield, a father himself, was sickened to hear of the tragedy today.
"It's just revolting, just awful. I can't imagine. It is truly the worst of the worst- who would do this."
In his well-respected and lenghty career, Dr. Afiled has also seen the other side of tragedies like this - the savages who commit the crimes. Dr. Afield has interviewed such serial killers as Ted Bundy, the Boston Strangler and Aileen Wournos.
He says evil is very much alive in this country and, "Unfortunately we are seeing more and more of it."
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