Children's Hope and Voice - SCHOOL VIOLENCE
Children's Hope and Voice - "Making a positive difference in a child's life."
  
 
How Can Parents Help?
 
Speak to your child about any incidents of school violence, openly and honestly, adapting your conversations to the age of your child. Children deserve honest answers, regardless oftheir age. You do not have to provide every detail, but don’t hold back too much informationeither; instill trust in your child while helping him or her understand what happened. In addition, the following tips may help:
 
Encourage your child to express his or her feelings.
Children usually feel better when they can talk about their feelings. To help your child sort out his or her feelings, askspecific questions such as “How do you feel? Does it make you feel scared? What worriesyou the most?” Encourage your child to be honest and open, and listen carefully for cluesabout hidden feelings or worries.
 
Reassure your child.
Respond to your child’s feelings; acknowledge his or her fears; and continually reassure your child that he or she is safe. Stress that this was a rare incident,but avoid making false promises such as “Nothing like this will ever happen to you.”Instead, offer your love, support and guidance and say things such as “I am here to protectyou and to help keep you safe.” In addition, remind your child that his or her teachers andthe police are also looking out for his or her safety.
 
Monitor the media.
Monitor and limit the amount of television your child watches. If your child sees disturbing footage of incidents of school violence, his or her fears and anxietiesmay escalate.
 
Speak to your child’s school administrators.
Ask your child’s teachers and/or school principal how they have addressed school violence.Many schools speak to students about safety issues, and reassure them that they aredoing everything possible to keep the children safe.
 
Pay close attention to your child.
If your child was involved or a witness to an incident of violence, pay close attention to your child’s behavior. If you notice any unusual behavior, itmay be a reaction to stress, fear or trauma. Learn how to recognize warning signs (asdescribed in the next section) and seek professional help from a counselor, social worker,psychologist or other professional if necessary.If your child expresses fear of going back to school, be sympathetic and talk to your childabout his or her anxieties—but convince your child to be brave. Explain that it will take timefor him or her to confront and gradually overcome anxieties—and reassure him or her thatyou will help. In addition, speak to your child’s teacher about your child’s anxieties, and askhim or her to provide additional guidance, support and encouragement. If your child’sschool phobia persists for an extended period of time, consult a professional for additionalguidance and help.
 
Signs of Anxiety In Children
 
Children react to fear, stress or trauma in different ways. Children that were directlyinvolved in an incident may suffer from severe anxiety or trauma—and will probably needprofessional help. All children, however, may be affected by the violence. Here are somesigns to watch for in your child:.
 
  • Disrupted sleep patterns—frequent nightmares and/or insomnia.
  • Changes in eating habits—loss of appetite or overeating.
  • Decline in school performance.
  • Lack of concentration.
  • Irritability or prolonged depression.
  • Separation anxiety.
  • Unusual clinginess.
  • Regression
 
Remember, these symptoms are common reactions to anxiety. However, if symptomspersist for longer than six weeks and disrupt your child’s daily routine, seek help from asocial worker, pediatrician or psychologist. A professional can help your child deal with hisor her emotions and can provide valuable tips and guidance to parents.
 
an Employee Assistance Program by the Federal Occupational Health (FOA) , a component of the US Public Health Service.
 
 
  
Coping with School Violence
 
 
  
The National Association for the Education of Young Children has compiled the following online resources for parents, teachers, and others working with young children about coping with violence and talking to young children about tragedies they learn about in the media. This is an excellent resource.
 
 
 
 
The National Association of School Psychologists - Resources to cope with violence
Resources on talking to children about violence, tips for parents, teachers, and school administrators, dealing with a death in a school and more. The Association has listed some of these key resources on their home page for quick access. 
 
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network - Tips for talking to children about the shooting
Resources on talking to children about the recent shooting, information about the shooting's psychological impact, tips for parents on media coverage - includes tips specific for preschool-aged children
.
 
The National Education Association - School crisis guide
The National Education Association (NEA) and the National Education Association Health Information Network (NEA HIN) developed this easy-to-use crisis guide with essential, to-the-point advice for schools and districts.
 
American Academy of Pediatrics - Talking with children
Resources to help parents talk to children about violence and disasters.
 
Child Care Aware - Helping families and children cope
In the wake of any kind of emergency or disaster - large or small - children and adults may feel anxious about their own safety and security. Child Care Aware offers resources for Parents, Caregivers, School Professionals and more.
 
American Psychological Association - Helping children manage distress
As a parent, you may be struggling with how to talk with your children about a shooting rampage. It is important to remember that children look to their parents to make them feel safe. 
 
National Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry - Coping with tragic events
In hopes of helping families cope with such tragic events AACAP created a collection of resources including
tips for talking to children about Connecticut school shooting.
 
Tips for Talking to Children and Youth after Traumatic Events
Subtitled “A Guide for Parents and Educators,” this printable PDF contains concise tips for talking to children after traumatic events as well as resource links when more active intervention may be required. 
 
Helping Children Cope with Tragedy-related Anxiety
This web page, from Mental Health America (formerly known as the National Mental Health Association), offers tips for parents in helping preschool-age children, as well as grade school-age children and adolescents, with tragedy-related anxiety.
 
After the Crisis: Using Storybooks to Help Children Cope
Authors Cathy Grace and Elizabeth Shores offer literature-based activities to help children who have been through a trauma. With activities and exercises that can be used in conjunction with 50 children’s books, the discussion starters and writing and art activities in After the Crisis can be used by teachers to promote children’s ability to cope and heal.
 
Media Coverage of Traumatic Events
This web page discusses research findings that link watching media coverage of traumatic events with stress. The article gives viewing recommendations and other advice for parents of young children.
 
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
 
by KidsHealth
 
by National School Safety Center
This is an entire website dedicated to this subject.
 
Statitics and What it is.
by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
 
 
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