talking to children about tragedy…

The horrific events of the Colorado shootings and the results of the Freeh report and sanctions against Penn State (and the continuous 24-hour news cycle surrounding both) mean that parents are now grappling with how much information to give children, where you can limit their exposure to the news, and how to help them process what they see on television, hear on the radio and see at newsstands near grocery store check-out counters. It is a lot to process for adults, never mind for children.

As a nation grieves and reacts, it is my goal to highlight some resources that can help adults process your feelings around these events and to help your children manage theirs. As many of you know, I grew up in a family where athletics, and football in particular, was paramount. My four brothers all played ball in college, and my daughter is herself a college athlete. While reaching out to her and to our teenage son, we are trying to help them think about and process the news of the last few weeks in age-appropriate ways. Likewise, when dealing with younger children, you’ll also need to find an approach that works for you and your family.

Here are two links that may help:

The first is a three-minute video by Jim Steyer of Common Sense Media. His book, Talking Back to Facebook, is the suggested summer reading book for TPS parents.

http://www.commonsensemedia.org/advice-for-parents/explaining-news-our-kids

The second is a link to Education Weekly and some suggestions for parents about discussing the events of last week in Colorado with children:

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/parentsandthepublic/2012/07/pta_offers_advice_on_how_to_talk_to_kids_after_mass_shooting.html?cmp=ENL-EU-NEWS2

I look forward to welcoming children to school in September. In the meantime, we should all hold them close and make sure to be grateful for all that we have as so many struggle with tragedy and introspection amidst these high-profile events in our world.

Stay cool,
KM

About Kathleen McNamara Head's Up!

an educator in Independent Schools for over 28 years
This entry was posted in education in 2012 and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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