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Health Information For Parents
Serious incidents of school violence are terrible and frightening. Fortunately, they are rare. But it’s natural for kids and teens to worry about whether something may happen to them or their friends.
To help them deal with these fears, it’s important to talk about these tragedies when they happen, and to know what your kids watch or hear about them. This helps put frightening information into context.
It’s important for kids to feel like they can share their feelings, and know that their fears and worries are understandable.
Don’t wait for your kids to approach you — consider starting the conversation. Ask what they understand and how they feel about it.
Share your own feelings too. During a tragedy, kids often look to adults for their reactions. It helps kids to know that they are not alone in feeling anxious. Knowing that their parents have similar feelings helps kids accept their own. At the same time, kids often need parents to help them feel safe.
Kids and teens have many sources of information about school shootings or other tragic events. They might see or hear news stories or graphic images on TV, radio, or online, over and over. Such reports may teach them to view the world as a confusing, threatening, or unfriendly place.
The details of a news story about school violence can make some kids feel that might happen to them. A child might worry, “Could I be next? Could that happen to me?”
To calm fears, be prepared to tell the truth, but in a way that fits your child’s emotional level. Don’t go into more detail than your child is interested in or can handle.
Although it’s true that some things can’t be controlled, parents should still give kids the space to share their fears. Encourage them to talk openly about what scares them.
Older kids and teens are less likely to accept an explanation at face value. Their budding skepticism might hide the fact that they’re bothered about a story. Your willingness to listen will send a powerful message and help them cope with these fears.
Talk with your kids about what schools do to help protect their students. Many schools are taking extra precautions — some focus on keeping weapons out through random locker and bag checks, limiting entry and exit points at the school, and keeping the entryways under teacher supervision. Others use metal detectors.
Lessons on how to deal with problems in non-violent ways have been added to many schools’ courses. Peer counseling and other programs help students learn to watch for signs that a fellow student might be becoming more troubled or violent.
Another thing that helps make schools safer is greater awareness of problems like bullying and discrimination. Many schools now have programs to fight these problems, and teachers and administrators know more about protecting students from violence.
If you suspect that someone is bringing a weapon to school or threatening someone else’s life, it requires immediate attention. This article offers some tips on getting help.
Disasters, like earthquakes and tornadoes, are serious problems. Find out more about these difficult situations and how to help people in need.
After hearing news of school shootings or other violence, it’s natural for students â no matter how old they are or where they go to school â to worry about whether this type of incident may someday happen to them or their friends.
Bullying has everyone worried, not just the people on its receiving end. Learn about dealing with bullies, including tips on how to stand up for yourself or a friend.
By now, you probably know what guns are and what can happen if they fall into the wrong hands. Find out how to protect yourself and how to learn about gun safety.
News from the TV, radio, and the Internet is often educational. But when stories are about violence or other disturbing topics, parents can find it hard to explain to kids. Here are some guidelines.
Technology can be part of a healthy childhood, but it’s important for parents to track their kids’ screen time and set limits.
Unfortunately, bullying is a common part of childhood. But parents can help kids cope with it and lessen its lasting impact.
Guns are in many homes, so they’re a very real danger to kids, whether you own one or not. Learn how to talk with your kids about gun safety.
Kids and teens who live through a traumatic event can develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Healing is possible with the help of professional counseling and support from loved ones.
TV, interactive video games, and the Internet can be excellent sources of education and entertainment, but too much plugged-in time can have unhealthy side effects.
Serious stress can come from dealing with a personal crisis, a disaster, a health crisis, or a mental health condition that feels out of control. Here’s what to do when stress gets really serious.
Sometimes after experiencing a traumatic event, a person has a strong and lingering reaction known as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Getting treatment and support can make all the difference.
Whether bullying is physical or verbal, if it’s not stopped it can lead to more aggressive antisocial behavior – and interfere with a child’s success in school and ability to form and sustain friendships.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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