Family Resources to Reduce Anxiety Related to School Shootings
Dear C.A.S.E. families and colleagues,
Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with the families of Sandy Hook Elementary school and the entire community of Newtown as they face the loss of innocent children and their educational leaders. This weekend we have all asked ourselves how and why this could happen and what can we do to ensure the safety of our children? As parents, we are grappling with how we can help them understand and most importantly feel safe, secure and protected in the midst of such unimaginable violence.
The staff at C.A.S.E. is acutely aware that many of your children have been impacted by childhood trauma. The effects of the tragedy in Newtown can trigger early memories of their experiences. We must listen to our children during this unsettling time and affirm their feelings. We must keep their lives as predictable as possible. We must hug them, love them and assure our children that we will take care of them and keep them safe.
Our clinical staff is here to help your family during this difficult time. We are available by phone for guidance and affirmation and will provide a responsive availability for appointments in all of our offices. Below is a list of resources to help you and your family.
Talking about this event will be difficult and painful. No matter how hard we try, we cannot make sense of something profoundly senseless. As parents we must create a guiding light to lead our children out of the scary darkness. We must initiate the conversation as caregivers and parents and address conflicting thoughts and questions circling their minds. We must also be aware that their ability to comprehend the complexities of this tragedy will need to be tailored to their developmental level.
On behalf of our staff and Board of Directors at C.A.S.E., our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the families in Newtown, Connecticut.
Debbie Riley, LCMFT
CEO, The Center for Adoption Support and Education
- American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry – Children and Grief
- American Academy of Pediatrics – Resources to Help Parents, Children and Others Cope in the Aftermath of School Shootings
- American Psychological Association – Guidelines for children of different ages
- American Psychological Association – Helping Your Children Manage Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting
- The National Association of School Psychologists — A National Tragedy: Helping Children Cope
- The National Association of School Psychologists — Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers