A Day in the Life of This SLP: Challenging
Category : A Day in the Life of This SLP , Blog
I am saddened that our little ones need to be brave…
not because the slide seems too high, they are entering a new situation, or because they have to get a shot at their well visit.
May 18, 2018, they need to be brave because the news shares the reality of our world and it is a scary place for even the bravest among us… Hence, this blog post is being updated in an effort to share valuable and helpful information to the children and families who read it.
The shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas on May 18, 2018 is the latest and has taken 10 lives.
The shooting on February 14, 2018, at the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida took 17 lives. Let that sink in…
Everytown counts 291 school shootings since 2013, which breaks down to about one per week.
In recent months, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have passed, millions of Americans are affected both on the mainland and on beautiful islands not far from our shore, international tension intensifies, domestic political strife continues beyond the partisan level, and then yesterday, a mass shooting in Las Vegas. This recent horrific news event now bumps the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting out of “the lead” as the most horrible event. YES, 59 is more than 49, but when counting lives, one is TOO many. So again, I share this post to help our children and yes, ourselves.
How to talk to our children about the news…
Sadly, today is not the first time that this Center has posted about how we, (grand/parents, teachers, extended family & friends) should speak to our children regarding horrific news. You see, this Center has been open since 1993 and the list of array of natural and man-made news events has been plentiful.
Ignoring is not the answer
While “bad” news and tragedy are often easier to ignore, you can be sure our children see the news, see the changes around them and know at some level, that life is different. It is healthier for our children and our families to have any and all concerns addressed which may be at the basic, yet all important, level of “just listening”.
Consider your child’s age
Remember to be with each child individually, especially with significant age differences, and answer the questions asked, offering as much truth as the child requires to understand. Listen to each child or teen, go slowly and hear what frightens them, what concerns them, and what they are asking.
Listen to your children
Allow each child to express him/herself and any concerns or fears without trying to solve or make it all better. We all need time to process, some just a minute, others will take longer. It may not be about answering specific questions, but more about understanding what they are observing in others. Sometimes your child may feel better after sharing with no specific answers expected or needed.
Expression comes in many forms
Many children may find it difficult to express themselves verbally. Allow them to share by expressing themselves through their play, a journal, drawing, coloring, or even writing songs. Some children will “talk” to their stuffed animals or pets, be there to listen, to support them and to help them feel safe.
Emotions need time, seek help if needed
There may be more than one conversation or occasion needed. Realize there is no expiration or time limit on the understanding of our emotions. Be sure to consult with other professionals if that is in the best interest of your family.
As the news unfolds, healthcare and other agencies focusing on child/family health are providing valuable suggestions.
ABC News shares this following the most recent shooting, How to talk to your kids…
Edutopia‘s Responding to Tragedy for educators and parents.
Healthy Children‘s Talking to Children About Tragedies and Other News Events shares valuable information.
Mayo Clinic‘s Children’s Health shares coping suggestions.
NBC Today Show‘s How to talk to children about shootings, age guide here.
Nemours KidsHealth suggestions for parents can be read here.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has more resources here.
PediaPlay shares these suggestions for talking to your children after a mass shooting.
Seattle Children’s Hospital article on “Disasters and Scary Events”can be found here.
Save the Children 10 point infographic can be seen here.
Talking to Children About Violence from the National Association of School Psychologists
Sharing moments during SLP sessions
If you are a family of this Center, please do not hesitate to speak with me regarding your child and any events which are impacting his/her life. As you know, children often demonstrate behavioral changes or express themselves during unexpected times, often in an SLP session. I know that “Together, we WILL make a difference…”
A challenging day in the life of This SLP,
May 18, 2018 Our hearts break for the Santa Fe High school families.
February 14, 2018 Our hearts break for Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High families.
October 3, 2017 Another challenging day in the life of This SLP. The Las Vegas shooting.
October 6, 2016 ADDENDUM: Hurricane Matthew is bearing down on Millions, and so this “Preparing Kids for Hurricanes” from Nemours should be valuable to many! Stay safe.
Originally posted on June 13, 2016 after the PULSE Night Club shooting
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