Thursday, April 18, 2024

Talking to Your Kids about School Shootings

Dear Parents, Grandparents, Caregivers,

Though we all may have a different response to the recent school shooting, we all want to know how we can best support our kids as they navigate through this. There is no perfect thing to say or do, but there are certainly a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, remember that we are role models for our kids. How you “react” will be so much more powerful than what you “say”.

Remember to check in yourself before talking with your kids. By remaining calm while you talk with them, you will provide the space they need to process their own emotions. Additionally, in this calm state, you will more easily access your intuition and be more able to support your child’s response to the tragedy. Below and on our website (click here) are a few resources to help you in preparing for your conversation with your kids.

Let us ‘hold space’ for our youth to process their own emotions.

We are in this together,
Georgia Chakos Ferrell,
Executive Director
Safe Harbor Coronado

How to Talk to Your Kids about School Shootings:
Ages 7 & Under

by Common Sense Media

“When talking about tragedies it’s best to ask open-ended questions to see your child’s view on the event, many times they won’t know much about it or are unsure of what they know. By using simple sentences, and not over-sharing you can lessen the worry or confusion they may have.

It’s also beneficial to try to save strong emotions for your adult support community, (you don’t have to be a robot but avoid displaying strong emotions related to these tragic incidents around kids). Kids often get scared when they don’t know why their parents are upset so reminding them it’s not about them, but the news, can really help.” Click Here for Full Article

How to Talk to Your Kids about School Shootings:
Tweens & Teens
by Common Sense Media

“At this age, kids are developing their moral beliefs, which means they can delve deeper into a subject. More exposure to peers, social media, and news mean they’ll receive lots of information. When having this talk it’s important to first find out what they know. After that, try to state the facts and potentially correct if they’ve seen misleading information online.

Check-in and encourage them to express themselves. Sharing your own feelings can help as well even if they don’t ask. It will help unburden you and model empathy and compassion.” Click Here for Full Article

How to Handle a School Shooting: For Parents
By Child Mind Institute

Parents deal with quite a lot of anxiety and stress during tragic events such as a school shootings. Taking care of yourself is also extremely important. If you are looking for ways to help ease some of your own worries, be proactive.

Form a parent group at the school and together assess what the school needs, get involved in the planning process for drills, and have ongoing conversations about keeping the school safe. Click Here to Read Full Article


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