Talking to your child about a school shooting

The news from Parkland, Florida is tragic and disturbing. There is a lot of news that our children may worry about but news about school shootings can be particularly distressing to them. And distressing to you, too. Below is some brief information from the American School Counselors Association (ASCA) about talking with our children about school shootings. I’ve also included links to some very helpful and more detailed resources with suggestions about coping with this troubling news. I also strongly encourage you to practice self-care. While it’s important to limit your child’s exposure to news coverage, make sure you take a break too. The news coverage can be compelling, but it will increase your own stress and anxiety whether your realize it or not.

Of course I am available to your children if they are having a difficult time coping with this tragic event. I am here to support faculty, and I am here to support you too. Please don’t hesitate to call, email, or stop by my office if you have any questions.

Helping Kids After a Shooting (from the ASCA website)

  • Try and keep routines as normal as possible. Kids gain security from the predictability of routine, including attending school.
  • Limit exposure to television and the news.
  • Be honest with kids and share with them as much information as they are developmentally able to handle.
  • Listen to kids’ fears and concerns.
  • Reassure kids that the world is a good place to be, but that there are people who do bad things.
  • Parents and adults need to first deal with and assess their own responses to crisis and stress.
  • Rebuild and reaffirm attachments and relationships.

Talking to Children about Terrorist Attacks and School and Community Shootings in the News

How to Talk About School Shootings with Children Techniques to speak about the unspeakable. Psychology Today

In the aftermath of a shooting Help your children manage distress – from the American Psychological Association