The horrific tragedy that happened last month in Parkland, Florida was the 18th school shooting in the United States in 2018 alone. When school violence occurs, it is important for parents to communicate openly, in an age appropriate way, with their children to restore feelings of comfort, safety, and security.
While it is difficult to shield your children from the chatter and speculation that occurs within your community – the conversations that they may overhear at school, with friends, at sports – you can do your part as a parent to make sure your own children receive the most important information from the people they trust the most: you. During uncertain times such as immediately after an incidence of violence, it is vital that you maintain trust with your child. This begins with being honest with them, and giving age-appropriate, clear, and real information.
Here are some tips on how to talk with your children about school violence:
Finally, after engaging in open and honest conversations with your child, it is critical that you pay attention to your child and look for signs of change, so that you know how to intervene and remediate. Watch for signs of stress such as loss of appetite, unusual aggression or withdrawal, irritability, and lack of sleep.
Securing your child’s trust during times of uncertainty is important, and trust is based on experience. If you reach out to your children and maintain open lines of communication with them, they will learn to trust you, trust themselves, and they will feel more secure with their outer world.
Originally published at drgailgross.com