There are no words to describe the shock, sadness, and horror of the events that took place today in Newtown, Connecticut. As a parent, an educator, and a Virginia Tech graduate, it’s a worst nightmare scenario. Something has to give.
I won’t dwell on the tragedy in this post. What I will do is share links to resources I’ve seen, gathered, and shared over the last few hours in case they are helpful to you in addressing – or not addressing, based on their age – the event with your children. I’ll update this list as I’m made aware of new resources.
I am not an expert in this realm, so I’ll direct you to others, but my own take on this? I would underscore the need to use caution and good judgment in sharing details, watching news coverage, and having an overly emotional response in front of your children. I’m not suggesting to hide it all and pretend life is rosy, but our reactions may magnify their fears – or worse – be their first exposure to the news and create fear that was not there previously. Perhaps this post may help you decide whether or not to bring up the shooting with your young children.
My heart and prayers go out to the families involved – and to yours – as you make sense of this in your home. I know I held my son tighter when I picked up him today.
- Helping your children manage distress in the aftermath of school shootings from the American Psychological Association
- Tips for talking to children and youth after traumatic events: A guide for parents and educators from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US Dept. of Health and Human Services)
- Talking to children about community violence from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- Talking with kids about violence from Children Now (California)
- Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters in Hampton Roads (Virginia) shares tips on talking to children about school shootings
- Resources from the American School Counselor Association on helping kids during crisis
- Tips from the National Association of School Psychologists
- Tragic events in the news – tips from Fred Rogers
- General tips on talking to kids about news from PBS Kids
- Talking to kids about Newtown from Parenting Magazine
- Talking to your children about violence against kids from The University of Minnesota
- The National Association for the Education of Young Children also compiled a list of professional resources
- A blog post about the role of God in providing kids with a framework for grief by Nicole Unice
- Dealing with grief: Five things NOT to say and five things to say in a trauma involving children by Reverend Emily Heath
- Five things to consider before talking to your kids about today’s tragedy and Talking to kids about tragedy and from Rage Against the Minivan
- My dear friend Dr. Lisa Mazzio will be sharing tips on her professional FB page