A mom in Rochester, Minnesota was out shopping with her daughter at a grocery store in town last week and unfortunately witnessed a situation that should have never happened.  She asked me to leave the grocery store name out but I did verify that this incident did in fact take place.

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Dear Jessica,

I know you are a mom and although you may have never experienced this exact situation, I wondered what words you would say to your kids.  Basically, I'm looking for advice and thought you could help.  I was at a grocery store last week with my daughter, doing our normal shopping like we do every week.  While we were getting ready to put all of our groceries out of the cart and on the area for the cashier, I started to hear some noises at another checkout lane.  There were two guys who started throwing punches.  One of their carts even flipped over and my daughter and I saw one of the men on the ground as the fight continued.  The staff at the store separated the individuals but this whole situation just seemed sureal and happened so fast.  But what I'm concerned about is today, when we went to the same store, my daughter looked at that aisle and she said, "that's where the bad guys were" and she refused to go in that checkout lane.  I know this is a fear and one that she will probably get over but I'll admit, it shook me up too.  What would you say to your kids if this happened to you while you were out shopping? - Concerned mom in Rochester, Minnesota.

What would you say to your kids if they witnessed grown adults fighting?

Oh, wow!  What a horrible thing to witness, especially when you are in an environment where this is completely out of the norm.  I'd never think that a fight would break out in aisle 4 as I'm getting a loaf of bread or as I'm waiting to use my coupons and pay for my groceries.

As far as what I would say to my child - I'm not seeing how old your daughter is so you'll have to gauge these tips based on that:

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  • Reassure her before your next shopping trip that you will be by her side the entire time at the store.
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  • Talk about what happened and how she is feeling.  Some kids like to express their feelings by drawing and if that is better for her, let her draw a picture of how she is feeling or what she saw that day and have her explain the picture she drew.
  • During your next shopping trip, let her know that if she starts to feel scared at all to just hold her hand and give it a little squeeze.  That can be your secret signal that she is feeling a little nervous in that moment.
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  • See if she would like to help decide what aisle to use when it is time to checkout.
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  • When the shopping is all done and groceries are in the car, take a few minutes before you leave to just talk about what went well while you were shopping and ask if there were any moments that felt scary for her.  Think back to if any special hand squeezes were given and see if she wants to talk about those moments.

Do you have any tips for this Rochester mom?

Any other tip or words of advice you'd like to pass on to this Rochester mom?  Feel free to send me a message on my Facebook page - Jessica On The Radio - or on Instagram, and I'll pass the message along.

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Listen to Jessica Williams weekdays from 6 am until 10 am on the Y-105FM Early Morning. Show with James & Jessica.

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