Friday, December 15, 2012 will be a date many Americans remember. A shooting this tragic stick with us for a while. Particularly those who work with children on a daily basis. Why did something like this happen? Will it happen to me? Can I do anything to prevent that? What do I tell my students?
Questions like these are flooding through our brains as we analyze this tragedy. The importance of how we present this to our children, students, and young family members is huge. The way we talk to them about what happened will shape them into how they view many things. How do you decide if they’re even old enough to know what happened? Do you tell them?
Child Care Exchange has put together a list of articles to educate yourself on best practices for talking to children about the shooting:
- An Exchange article by Diane Levin: “When the World is a Dangerous Place — Helping Children Deal with Violence in the News.”
- A New York Times article, “Tips for Talking to Children About the Shooting.“
- Advice from National Child Traumatic Stress Network, “Talking to Children about the Shooting.“
- Advice from the National Association of School Psychologists, “A National Tragedy: Helping Children Cope.”
- A resource from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Tips for Talking to Children and Youth after Traumatic Events.”
- Fred Rogers’ advice from Family Communications, “Helping Children Deal with Tragic Events in the News.”
- Advice from the American Psychological Association, “Helping Your Children Manage Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting.”
Along with talking to your students about violence, think about the security in your facility. Is there any? Do you have a procedure for a lock down? Does your staff know?
All of these questions, articles, and ideas boil down to the idea of a safe community. This is a tough time for people all across the country and a great time for us to come together. Letting children know who the good guys are and that there are good guys can be a positive point to teach in this very negative situation.
What suggestions, ideas, or questions do you have? Let this be a place to gather and discuss the ways that school and studio owners can come together.