Sadly, we are seeing more and more tragic events in the world today. Children may unknowingly be exposed through media coverage and social networking sites. I would like to provide you with tips on how to talk to a child about a tragedy.
- Stick to the facts and tell children the truth while keeping the explanation developmentally appropriate. Early elementary school children need brief, simple information. Upper elementary aged children will be more vocal in asking questions about whether they are truly safe. They may need assistance separating reality from fantasy.
- Limit your child’s television viewing of the events.
- Model calm and control. Children take emotional cues from adults.
- Reassure your child that, while we can’t control every situation, we do have procedures in place to help keep children safe at school and at home.
- Let them know that it is ok to feel upset. Listen to them talk about their concerns and worries.
- Pay attention to their emotional state. Children may not always express their concerns verbally. Changes in behavior, appetite and sleep patterns can also indicate a child’s level of grief, anxiety or discomfort.
I would like to be available for any students who need to process this incident. Please feel free to contact me by phone, email or the counseling referral form located on this website should you need more resources in helping your child cope. The entire staff at Willow Creek Elementary School will continue to partner with parents in order to maintain the safety of our students.
Dee Dee Cure
Willow Creek Elementary School Counselor