• All of us are shaken to the core once again by the recent news of a school shooting in Uvalde, TX. Many of you may be wondering what to say and what to do to support your child. They may easily overhear bits and pieces of information and may have questions, fears, or worries about their own safety or the safety of the school.

     

    Here are some ways that you can help your child and help yourself process what happened.

     

    Please limit and monitor screen time and access to screens/media including iPads, smartphones, etc. The images and stories they can access can be overwhelming. Now is the time to check parental controls on all the devices in your home.

     

    Listen to the news out of the earshot of children. Children are very sensitive to our emotions especially when they are big.

    Be honest, but brief. Reassure them that even though you feel sad/ mad/ upset/ etc. you will be fine and so will they.

    All emotions are welcome and talking or drawing about them helps.

     

    If they have questions, let these questions guide the conversation. "Tell me what you know about this?" Find out what they know and use this opportunity to share facts that are true and brief. Their questions will let you know their specific concerns. If they are worried about their safety or the safety of their family, reassure them that they are safe and offer A LOT of reassurance that there are people in the world who are helpers. "Look for the helpers. There are always helpers." Ask them to point out who are helpers in their lives. You can show them all the ways that you keep them safe.

     

    Remember that routine is very important and calming for children.

    Being rigorous about this will help children feel secure. You too.

     

    And, you may not notice anything at all. Check back in after a few days. Ask them if they have any feelings to talk about or if they have more questions or thoughts to share. They may not have words, but you may see them processing big feelings through their play. Observe and follow up with- "Tell me more about...", "I notice...", "I'm curious about..."

     

    Lastly, but most importantly, notice your own feelings and heart. It is a punch in the gut whenever we learn about this happening anywhere in the world. Take some time to process this with someone you trust and give yourself time and space to process for yourself. Those of us with young children often find this news heartbreaking, infuriating, or something else.

    What do you do to self-regulate when you feel big emotions?

    Do that thing.

     

    I am available to have a conversation with anyone about this.

    Feel free to share this message with your family community and as always,

    I am available to share more resources or to talk.

     

    Wishing all of us peace and healing,

    Amy

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