Sophia's Blog

Sophia's Blog: Talking to Children about Trauma in the News
sophia

Dear LS Families,

In the wake of this week’s events in Florida, many of us are hugging our kids a bit closer, a reaction we find ourselves having more and more often as these violent events become more commonplace. Though your child may not be aware of this week’s shooting, or may not be expressing an awareness to you yet, you may be wondering, “What do I say again if my kid brings this up? How do I explain this kind of violence to my 4-, 8-, or 12- year-old? How on earth do I reassure them?”

It is true that we have a wide range of student ages on our Lower School campus, and faculty here are always prepared to respond to student concerns in age-appropriate ways. It is our job to be aware that depending on age and exposure to news or conversations about the news, our kids may have a keen sense of what is going on when traumatic events occur, or they may be much less aware. When trauma happens and is in the news, faculty here do not bring it up but rather follow their students’ lead. If concerns are raised in class by students who have heard about upsetting events such as school shootings, faculty have well-prepared ways of addressing those concerns in developmentally appropriate ways that both acknowledge the fear some students may feel while also reassuring them of their own safety and the safety practices of our school.

In case you would like to revisit some helpful guidelines around how to talk to children (at different age levels), how to amplify a sense of safety at home, and how to manage anxiety or distress, here are some great resources that I hope you find useful:

Talking to Children About Violence (from the National Association of School Psychologists)

How To Talk to Children About Difficult News (from the American Psychological Association)

In the aftermath of a shooting: Help your children manage distress (from the American Psychological Association)

And, as always, please reach out to me at sculpepper@bbns.org if you feel your child could use some counseling support at any point.

Wishing you all a wonderful long weekend ahead,

Sophia

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