Thank you for your wisdom and postings. I am a bit confused there is so much conflicting advice some suggesting parents should talk to children others say do not. I teach Kindergarten and some of my students know about the events at Sandy Hook and other parents have decided not to talk with their children. I just spoke with a friend of mine who is a child psychologist. His thoughts and wisdom have helped me prepare for Monday morning.He mentioned the following for responding to my kindergarten students:1) The majority of children (even if they do hear other children talking about the event) will not have the emotional maturity to understand and process this event. So they most likely will not ask questions or give it much thought.2) For the few children that do ask, he suggests I respond as simply and directly as possible, "Yes, something sad happened far away." "That is so sad." Then redirect them to a daily activity.3) If a children persists then direct them to school counselor, principal and keep their parents informed.He especially made mention not to have a whole group discussion or lengthy discussions.He reminded me that the children are going to be focused on Christmas, the holidays and fun activities of the day -- this is what we want to encourage while being watchful for those who may be struggling. After all, isn't that what we do everyday!I hope this helps.
Thank you, Cathy. It is very difficult to know exactly what to do because each child (like each of us!) will process this a little differently. Our administration has asked that we don't bring it up, but if students are talking about it that we validate their feelings and remind them that they're safe and that we have a plan in place for scary situations. I appreciate you sharing what your psychologist friend has advised!
There really are no words and this is a lovely idea. Thanks for all you do for the children
I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!