Dear IRPS & TMCE Families,
We are all saddened by the events that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut, Friday morning. We wanted to share with you some information about how to talk with children about this type of event.
Based on your child’s age:
- Minimize or eliminate exposure to the media. Repeated viewing of the information can contribute to increased anxiety, fear and other symptoms.
- Minimize your child’s exposure to conversations that are occurring about the event. Seeing and hearing adults overwhelmed or consumed with the information can increase children’s fears.
- Stay calm yourself. Calm adult responses and reactions can go a long way to helping children cope.
- The primary need of children and adolescents is to feel safe and secure. Let your child know it is normal to be afraid and adults worry too. Brainstorm ideas for helping them cope with their fear (talking with you and other trusted adults when they are feeling worried, draw, write, physical exercise, listen to music, etc.). Reassure them their school is a safe place to be.
- Take time to listen carefully to their feelings and worries.
- Stay with everyday routines. All of us find safety in the predictable.
- Watch for significant changes in behavior (i.e. headaches, stomachaches, clinginess, withdrawal, irritability, etc.).
- If you have any concerns, please contact your school’s counselor for additional resources and/or strategies.
The following websites have additional information and resources for helping children deal with tragedy.
We are all saddened for the families and community in Connecticut. Be assured school safety continues to be our highest priority.