Talking to Students About Violence
The American Psychological Association (APA) and the National Association of School Psychologists offer several resources and tips on their websites. Listed below are a few of their recommendations for your consideration.
1. Talk with your child regarding their worries or concerns. This is a first step to help them feel safe and cope.
2. Watch for signs of stress, fear, or anxiety.
3. Reassure your child that their school and home are safe.
4. Limit the amount of time spent watching news of a tragedy, as constant exposure may heighten their anxiety.
5. Keep explanations developmentally appropriate. Elementary students need brief, simple information that is balanced with reassurances. Allow middle and high school students the opportunity to express opinions and suggestions. Emphasize the role that students have in maintaining safe schools.
6. Review safety procedures and safeguards at home.
Resources you may find helpful:
American School Counselors Association: https://schoolcounselor.org/Publications-Research/Publications/Free-ASCA-Resources/After-a-School-Shooting
Child Mind Institute: https://childmind.org/topics/trauma-grief/
National Association of Elementary School Principals: https://www.naesp.org/resource/helping-children-cope-with-tragedy/
National Association of School Psychologists: https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-safety-and-crisis/school-violence-resources/talking-to-children-about-violence-tips-for-parents-and-teachers