Helping Children Move Forward from a Tragedy

Dearest Educyclers,

In light of the tragic school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, I compiled a list of resources for schools to distribute to their teachers and family community. No matter the distance, our students are exposed to media coverage, especially material posted to social networking sites. Children will also overhear conversations, and it is better to help your children process rather than avoid it altogether.

Here are a variety of resources, so you can feel better prepared to address your students’ questions, concerns, grief and anxiety in the aftermath of this tragedy.

How to Plan for Monday Morning

Link: http://www.responsiveclassroom.org/blog/no-ordinary-monday

Summary: suggestions on how to address Friday’s events during class time

Talking to Preschoolers

Link: http://www.teachpreschool.org/2012/12/discussion-on-back-to-preschool-concerns-after-the-tragedy-at-sandy-hook-school/

Summary: age-appropriate strategies for teachers and parents on how to talk to young children about tragedies

Resources from NAEYC

Link: http://www.naeyc.org/content/coping-school-shooting

Summary: comprehensive list of school psychologists, how to talk to children, how to manage children in distress, media coverage, etc.

Catastrophic Mass Violence Resources

Link: http://www.nctsn.org/trauma-types/terrorism

Topics:

  • Talking to Children about the Shooting
  • Psychological Impact of the Recent Shooting
  • Tip Sheet for Youth Talking to Journalists about the Shooting
  • Tips for Parents on Media Coverage
  • Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth after the Recent Shooting
  • Information on Traumatic Grief

Dealing with the Aftermath

Link: http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs184/1102593057446/archive/1111873276753.html

Topics:

  • Helping children cope after a school shooting, from the National Children’s Medical Center
  • Video series with help answering questions from children and adolescents following a school shooting, from the Reston Psychological Center
  • Helping children cope with trauma-related anxiety, from Mental Health America (includes developmentally appropriate approaches for preschoolers, grade schoolers, and adolescents)
  • Strategies for talking with children about difficult news of all kinds, from PBS
  • Information about coping with a traumatic event, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Trauma response resources for congregations, from the UU Trauma Response Ministry

Talking to Children about Violence Against Kids

Link: http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/youthdevelopment/components/7414-05.html

Summary: brief guideline for parents

Talking to Kids About School Violence

Link: http://www.aboutourkids.org/articles/talking_kids_about_school_violence?CSRT=16058876883422821089

Topics:

  • Helping Your College-Bound Children and College Students Cope After the Virginia Tech Shootings: A Guide for Parents (different event, but information is still relevant)
  • Addressing Tough Topics and Questions: Talking to Your Children About Traumatic Events
  • Guidelines for Schools and Parents: Helping Children Affected by Disasters and Trauma
  • Children’s Resilience in the Face of Trauma
  • When Hurt Leads to Hate: Preventing Your Child’s Feelings of Anger from Leading to Actions of Bias and Hate
  • Media Exposure and Traumatic Events: How Much Media Coverage is Too Much?
  • Recognizing When Children Need Help
  • Caring For Kids After Trauma, Disaster, and Death: A Guide For Parents and Professionals

Addressing Tragic Events in the News

Link: http://www.fci.org/new-site/par-tragic-events.html

Summary: includes a quote from Mr. Rogers, helpful hints for parents (helping children feel more secure, talking and listening, coping and moving on)

Choosing a Mental Health Professional for Your Child

Link: http://www.aboutourkids.org/families/seeking_professional_help/choosing_mental_health_professional?CSRT=5948071422784059069

Summary: Comprehensive article addresses Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Signs and Symptoms in Children

Link: http://www.aboutourkids.org/families/disorders_treatments/az_disorder_guide/posttraumatic_stress_disorder/signs_symptoms?CSRT=5948071422784059069

Helping Children Handle Disaster Related Anxiety

Link: http://www.nmha.org/go/information/get-info/coping-with-disaster/helping-children-handle-disaster-related-anxiety

Summary: includes developmentally appropriate approaches for preschoolers, grade-schoolers, and adolescents

Dealing with Grief, Five Things NOT to Say and Five Things to Say In a Trauma Involving Children

Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-emily-c-heath/dealing-with-grief-five-t_b_2303910.html

Summary: candidly written by a Minister and appropriate for anyone, religious or not

Supporting a Grieving Person (and what NOT to say)

Link: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/helping_grieving.htm

Summary: explains grieving process, how to listen, offer practical assistance, providing ongoing support, warning signs for depression, and how to help a grieving child

Lastly, I would like to end this post on a lighter note:

26 Moments that Restored our Faith in Humanity This Year

Link: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/moments-that-restored-our-faith-in-humanity-this-y

Please leave a reply if you have more resources to add. (Thank you for leaving out political rants.) And please pass this on to anyone who may benefit from these resources.

With my deepest sorrows,

Wynne

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