Friday, December 14, 2012

Helping Children Deal with Tragedy

In light of the events of today, please visit Miss Erin's blog here
to check out some links that can help parents talk to young children when tragedy hits. 

There are some other links here:

This article gives some specific examples of what you can say to children when they ask about what happened or why the adults are sad:

One of the most important things is to limit what young children see on the TV. It is hard for young children to understand what they see and hear and we don't know how they rationalize it in their heads. 

Also, though we want to share information with kids, make sure what you share is developmentally appropriate. Your children of different ages may need to be told different things. You may want to warn older siblings to watch what they say to younger siblings. 

My thoughts and prayers are with all those touched by today's tragedy. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you and your families.

Below is a message Dr. Torres sent today to all our parents and staff:

Dear U-46 Colleagues and Community,

As I'm processing the shocking news about a shooting in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, I was struck with a phrase I heard from a reporter, "this sort of thing doesn't happen in our town, in towns like these." My heart is aching for the 

I have informed the Governor’s Office that our flags will be lowered to half-mast in all of our buildings in U-46 effective immediately. The Governor’s Office granted permission pending a statewide order to lower all flags across the State of Illinois.

These kinds of events can remind us of trauma that we have experienced in our own life. If you an employee of School District U-46, please check your email for information on how you can access help through the Employee Assistance Program. If you are a community member receiving this message, please access counseling as needed from community social service organizations or your faith community.

My prayers are with the victims and their families, who will not have a normal holiday season this year.

Respectfully and with a very heavy heart,

Dr. José M. Torres

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