The news out of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County is devastating. Our thoughts are with the students, parents, teachers, and community.
Social media and news outlets are showing extremely disturbing images and video related to the shooting. Your child's reactions are strongly influenced by how you and other adult caregivers respond - it is important to establish a sense of safety.
During this difficult time, here are a few things you can do to support your children:
Spend time talking with your children. Let them know that they are welcome to ask questions and express their concerns and feelings. You should remain open to answering new questions and providing helpful information and support.
Help children feel safe. Talk with children about their concerns over safety and discuss changes that are occurring at school and in the community to promote safety. Encourage your children to voice their concerns to you or to teachers at school.
Limit media and social media exposure. Protect your child or teen from too much media coverage and social media about the incident, including on the Internet, radio, television, or other technologies (e.g., texting, Facebook, Twitter). Explain to them that media coverage and social media technologies can trigger fears of the violent event happening again and also spread rumors. Let them know they can distract themselves with another activity or that they can talk to you about how they are feeling. Also ask them to describe what they have seen online already so you can correct any misinformation or provide support.
Visit the link for more resources from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, including tips for school staff and administrators in the aftermath of a school shooting.
If you have questions or your child or school needs extra support or resources, click here to email us.
The counseling, education, and support provided by Center for Child Counseling is equipping children and families with the tools needed to be successful in life. Our programs are based on the latest research and evidence-based practices, focused on buffering the effects that trauma can have on the developing brain. Learn more at www.centerforchildcounseling.org