As the fatal shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut so tragically underscored, violence in schools is very real. And while attacks on students wreak havoc on a parent's sense of well-being, it can be even more frightening for students to realize that the classrooms they visit every day are far from safe havens.
But while anxiety over school violence is understandable, media reportage of such incidents can exacerbate the problem, especially in younger children. Video footage, frightening details, and the sense of near panic with which these stories are widely reported can be fuel to the flames of childhood fears. So how can parents help their children cope with the frightening news of school violence? Here are some expert articles to help:
10 Ways to Talk to Kids About World Events in the News by Education.com Learn how to explain tragic events to your child (without over-explaining), and give her the tools to interpret those events in a healthy way.
Helping Children Feel Safe in Unsafe Times by the NYU Child Study Center Upsetting or violent community or national events put everyone on edge. The extensive news coverage can add to the heightened fear. Children are particularly at risk for feeling scared. The following are suggestions for helping children at such times.
Media Exposure and Traumatic Events: How Much is Too Much? by the NYU Child Study Center It is not always possible to judge if or when children are scared or worried about news they hear. Here is an age-based guide to recognizing and reacting to fear in your child.
Talking to Kids About Tragic Events by OneToughJob Kids know more than we think. Here are some tips on how to look for signs of stress in your child, keep the lines of communication open, and preserve your child's sense of security during traumatic times.