How To Talk with Kids About Terrible Things

hidingboy78How can we help the children in schools across the country who, in the wake of another school shooting, struggle to cope with feelings of fear, confusion and uncertainty?

For the more than 3,000 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the mass shooting on February 14 was terrifying and life-changing.

For their parents and teachers, KQED’s MindShift  has put together a quick primer with help from the National Association of School Psychologists and Melissa Reeves, a former NASP president and co-author of its PREPaRE School Crisis Prevention and Intervention curriculum.

Among Their Recommendations

First, pay attention. Not just to what kids say, but what they do.

Emphasize: You are safe. “The cardinal rule when talking about this kind of tragedy with children of all ages,” Reeves says, “is for adults to reinforce the safety efforts that their schools and the adults in their lives are already taking to keep them safe.”

Let their questions be your guide. This is especially true for young children, who may know very little about what actually happened but heard something on TV or glimpsed a disturbing photograph online or in the newspaper.

A school shooting anywhere can make students everywhere feel powerless, and that sense of helplessness can feed anxiety. “What you want to do is give them a sense of control,” Reeves says.

Excerpted from “How To Talk With Kids About Terrible Things” in KQED’s MindShift. Read the full article.

Source: MindShift | How To Talk With Kids About Terrible Things, | © 2018 npr

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