As the scope of what happened in Newtown became clear, it also became clear that families throughout Connecticut would have to deal with unprecedented shock and horror over the crime. That's why the Commission has prepared this resource center. Here, you'll find expert advice and information that can help children and adults alike. The contents of this page are likely to change over the coming days and weeks, so check back periodically. If you have suggestions for additional resources, please send them along. News media inquiries should be directed to Communications Director Kevin Flood, at 860.240.0018 or email@example.com
View a Spanish translation of this page:
"Ayudando a niños y adultos enfrentarse a eventos trágicos como el ataque en Newtown"
As the nation watches the reports about the recent Connecticut school shooting, many people may find themselves feeling anxious, worried, saddened or otherwise concerned. While adults may know how to express these feelings,often they do not know how to talk with children about the way the children are feeling.
David J. Schonfeld, MD, director of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, has experience in helping communities cope, including Aurora, Colorado, following the July 2012 mass shooting inside a movie theater there.
Here he provides the following tips to help adults talk with children about the shooting:
Talk about the event with your child. Silence isn’t comforting in crisis situations and suggests that what has occurred is too horrible to even speak of. After a major crisis, even very young children have likely already heard what has happened – but they may not understand what it means. Continued
December 24, 2012 (Updated)
Children, in their own discrete and different ways, are trying to understand the grossly irrational violence that ravaged our state in Newtown. Many of us wonder how to talk to them about it.
There are four circles of families to consider: 1) those in Newtown who lost a child, friend, neighbor, or school leader; 2) those next-door to Newtown who knew someone impacted or killed, or who felt the impact like an earthquake; 3) those families around the state who want to help, connect, and heal the deaths with proper handling and words; and 4) those outside of our state who want to help and heal this loss both at home and in a community way.
After spending the last two weeks with children and families in Newtown, speaking with parents in other parts of our state, and working with national experts on school disasters, I offer a few steps to consider. These steps might be of use wherever you live in our state. Continued
Visit the home pages of the organizations cited above for still more information.
The articles listed in the parents section above may also be useful to educators. Visit the home pages of these organizations for still more information:
National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement, at Cincinnati Children's Hospital
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
That Summer, by Tony Johnston
A boy has to cope with the fact that his brother is slowly dying.
When Dinosaurs Die, by Laurie Krasny Brown & Marc Brown
Child-centered explanations about understanding death
I Remember Miss Perry, by Pat Brisson
Children remember a teacher who died in a car accident.
onthatdday, by andra patel
Written after September 11, a book about how to deal with bad things that happen.
A Story for Hippo, by Simon Puttock & Alison Bartlett
Monkey grieves for his dead friend, Hippo.
Children Also Grieve, by Linda Goldman
Shows how parents can get children to talk about their grief when somebody dies
What's Heaven? by Maria Shriver
What parents can say to their children after a loved one dies.
Guiding Your Child Through Grief, by Mary Ann & James Emswiler
An advice book for adults.
Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories, by Audrey Penn
A mother raccoon comforts her child after her learns his best friend won't be returning to school.
This page was last updated: May 29, 2013