I hesitate to bring up the recent school shooting in Florida, but a reality exists—this incident seems to have impacted many people, including, I confess me.
In our search for ways to protect our children, we not only have to guard against extremism and hysteria, we have to protect our children (and ourselves) from the emotional damage that often accompanies tragedies and trauma. It is perhaps, a different sort of vigilance, but is just as important.
We may be thousands of miles removed physically from this event but that does not mean we are not hurt and harmed. Children may especially have difficulty realizing and expressing those impacts. Watch for behavior changes. Take news breaks and social media breaks to avoid constant exposure to both your children and yourself. Look for the helpers and the rainbows and remember to laugh.
I have been adding and expanding resources on my “Brain Leaks” website—look on the resource page for substitute teachers and suicide prevention resources for resources that help address tragedy, trauma, and grief. I have talked with too many students and teachers who are finding themselves struggling to cope with this latest incident. Please keep your eyes and ears open and do not hesitate to “reach out” to anyone who seems to be grappling, stressed or acting differently. I recently dealt with a child who had an unexplained panic attack. I can’t help but wonder about the causes…
If you find yourself having difficulty initiating a conversation, watch this one minute video, “Seize the Awkward Moment.” If you need helping someone–or think you need help yourself, reach out and connect. It’s important.