Therapists who treat childhood trauma said on Friday that parents talking to their children about the mass shooting should address the news directly and soon.
Children sense the anxiety and tension in adults around them. And, like adults, children experience the same feelings of helplessness and lack of control that disasters or crisis can bring about.
Unlike adults, children have little experience to help them place their current problems into perspective.
Each child responds differently to disasters, but it’s easy to see how an event can create a great deal of anxiety in children of all ages because they will interpret the disaster as a personal danger to themselves and those they care about.
Whatever the child’s age or relationship to the damage caused by disaster or crisis, it’s important that you be open about the consequences for your family, and that you encourage him or her to talk about it.
For more information
California Department of Education: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/ss/cp/tragedy.asp
National Association of School Psychologists: http://www.nasponline.org/
Talking with kids about what’s on the news: http://www.pbs.org/parents/talkingwithkids/news/From The New York Times: Tips for Talking to Children About the Shooting - http://nyti.ms/Wcgf9S
Behavioral Health Bureau's Facebook page: www.facebook.com/montereycountybehavioralhealthbureau
From the Children's Mental Health Network
A brief listing of excellent resources you can use to help in your efforts to talk with youth and families about the shooting that took place in Connecticut on Friday. Special thanks to the following people for rallying quickly and consulting with experts to identify a few key resources
The Children's Mental Health Network wishes to express gratitude to Alfredo Aguirre, Director of Mental Health Services, San Diego County & Network Advisory Council Member, Wayne Lindstrom, President & CEO, Mental Health America, and Robert Abramovitz, Co-Director National Center for Social Work, Trauma Education and Workforce Development, Hunter College.