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How to talk to kids about school shooting

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Only gun violence Just as a politician’s tweet declares a shooting at yet another school, it is “unimaginable” or “unthinkable” in the United States. Instead, wIt has endured many mass shootings in schools, grocery stores, churches, and more. Only this weekWe are at our pace More than once a day in 2022— It ’s hard to feel anything other than being paralyzed by fear... Humans were not intended to handle so much sadness. So hWow, do you explain to your child that you will never do it yourself? to understand? Every word fails, but nonetheless, your job as a parent is to find out.

It’s natural to feel helpless now. but, Said before, It is possible to share facts with our children while reassuring them that other adults are taking care of them with us and in their lives.What we can do to keep them safe.. For more insight into how to talk to children about school shooting, I talked to parenting and school psychologist Lina B. Patel.If you need a little guidance on how this is difficult to shape Conversation with your child, it’s Where to start.

Create a safe space to speak

Your child, like you, may have doubts or fears that there is no word to explain.Patel says you should allow your child’s questions to serve as Your discussion guide you decide The amount of information to share.

Be aware of the signs they may want to talk about. “Some children like to write, play music, and do art projects as an expressive modality.“Patel says.. In addition, she is careful Young children may need specific activities (drawing, reading picture books, imaginative play, etc.) to identify and express their feelings.

Prepare for “Why?”

To be clear, I don’t know “why” people do this. It’s good to share this painful reality with your child. Some people do terrible violence, but we don’t fully understand “why.”But as a psychologist Dr. Ellen Hendricksen writes:It is important to tell your child that there are more good people than bad people in the world. If you can’t give your child a satisfying answer to “why,” remind your child what you are doing. conduct Know: You will always do what you can to keep them safe.

Check the safety protocol

Obviously, your child’s school safety protocol now feels inadequate For many reasons.But at this momentIt’s important to move Conversation from the impossible (Why do bad people do bad things?)concrete(Where do you arrive during safety training?).In addition, we help children identify at least one adult in their school or community. Go if they feel threatened or at risk.

Limit media coverage of violent events

“Developmentally inadequate information can cause anxiety and confusion, especially for young children,” says Patel. “Adults also need to be aware of the content of conversations they have with each other in front of children, and even teenagers, and limit their exposure.”

This also means taking care of yourself.Here are some additions Tips for dealing with life in a lasting crisis..

Maintain a consistent routine

The routine is safe. Patel encourages children to keep up with their studies and extracurricular activities, but says, “If they seem overwhelmed, don’t push them in.” Otherwise, do your best to maintain good sleep, physical activity, and a healthy diet.

Monitor emotions: your child and yourself

Patel points out that changes in behavior, appetite, and sleep patterns may also indicate a level of anxiety and discomfort in the child. In most children, these symptoms are relieved with peace of mind and time. If you are worried, talk to a mental health professional.

Children remember actions rather than words, so watch your emotions as well. “Children will generally feel safer when parents describe themselves as calm and positive.” Sarah Kate BearmanAssociate Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, Told us near the beginning of the pandemic..

Be kind to yourself

All the points in this guide apply to both you and your child. I wish this conversation was unimaginable. Instead, this country has made it inevitable. Be kind to yourself when you are sad and try to understand this serious loss.

Lina B. Patel (LEP, BCBA) is a well-known parenting and school psychologist, board-certified behavioral analyst, and Winny and her worries..

How to talk to kids about school shooting

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