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6Aug/140

Helping Children Cope with Tragic Events

"We're going over in a safe area," she told the 5-year-olds. Then, she opened a book and started to read. CNN

This is what we have to offer you today in the aftermath of the inexplicable. Come. Open a book. Start to read. Hold them close and revisit old friends together; Curious George, The Cat in the Hat, Arthur, The Little Engine That Could.

Or stay at home and do the same. Find the books in the bookcase with the dog-eared pages and the tell-tale bite marks on the spine; the ones you can probably recite without looking at the pages. Choose the one with the coffee ring on the cover for having been on the bedside table every night.

Favorite stories are steadfast old friends to count on in times of trouble.

It is clear from the resources we have gathered below that one of the best things we can all do is simply reassure children that many people - their family, their teachers, their neighbors, the people at day care or church or the library love and care about them and are looking out for their safety.

Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. "Pooh?" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's hand. "I just wanted to be sure of you.”

― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

This video shares some expert advice from the makers of Sesame Street:

 

Professional Advice about Helping Children Cope with Violence and Tragic Events:

Dad and Children Reading Photo While favorite stories are comforting and familiar, you may find that it would be helpful to read a book together that helps your child understand feeling afraid or anxious; or answers questions he or she might have about death. Below are several children's books that address separation anxiety, fear and grief. These are just a small sampling to show you the kinds of books that are available. Also listed are some parenting books about helping a child cope with anxiety. Click on any book jacket to go directly to the online catalog to make a request with your IndyPL Library Card, or visit any of our branch locations. IndyPL librarianswould be happy to help you find books like these.
A Terrible Thing Happened A Terrible Thing Happened - After Sherman sees something terrible happen, he becomes anxious and then angry, but when a counselor helps him talk about these emotions he feels better. Jenny is Scared Jenny is Scared - When Jenny and her brother are frightened by events in the world, their parents help them talk about their fears and feel better.
On That Day: a Book of Hope for Children On That Day: a Book of Hope for Children - This book tells children that although terrible things happen, there is still hope that the world can be a better place. Tough Boris Tough Boris - Although he is a very tough pirate, Boris von der Borch cries when his parrot dies.
Love Waves Love Waves - While they are at work a mother and father send powerful "love waves" to their child at home, offering reassurance and comfort in their absence. The Kissing Hand The Kissing Hand - When Chester the raccoon is reluctant to go to kindergarten for the first time, his mother teaches him a secret way to carry her love with him.
The Kiss Box The Kiss Box - As they prepare for a short separation, Mama Bear and Little Bear find a way to reassure each other while they are apart. Mommy in My Pocket Mommy in My Pocket - A little girl gets anxious about separation from her mommy when she goes to school.
When dinosaurs die : a guide to understanding death When Dinosaurs Die - Explains in simple language the feelings people may have regarding the death of a loved one and the ways to honor the memory of someone who has died. Freeing your child from anxiety [CD] Freeing Your Child From Anxiety - Written by an expert in the field of childhood anxiety disorders, this indispensable guide is for parents looking for safe, proven methods for reducing childhood anxiety. Dr. Chansky shows them how to teach their child to successfully deal with stress and face the challenges and uncertainties of life. This resource is a CD but is also available as a Downloadable eBook
Growing up brave : expert strategies for helping your child overcome fear, stress, and anxiety Growing Up Brave - The author, a childhood anxiety expert, helps parents identify and understand anxiety in their children, outlines effective and convenient parenting techniques for reducing anxiety, and shows parents how to promote bravery for long-term confidence. Tear soup: a recipe for healing after loss Tear Soup - A modern-day fable, told in a richly illustrated children's book format, about a woman who has suffered a terrible loss. Grandy has just suffered a big loss in her life, so she is cooking up a batch of "tear soup," in which the ingredients are parts of the grieving process, including memories, misgivings, feelings, and tears.
Growing up brave : expert strategies for helping your child overcome fear, stress, and anxiety Love, Hugs & Healing - Helps children identify feelings that overwhelm them with anxiety and despair. Explains that sometimes bad things happen and good people are hurt. Children feel fear, sadness, and anger. The book teaches that there are ways of dealing with these emotions and helps children reaffirm fundamental truths about the world. Healing days : a guide for kids who have experienced trauma Healing Days - A guide for kids who have experienced trauma.
Snowflakes Fall Snowflakes Fall - In this illustrated poem in honor of the victims of the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, falling snowflakes celebrate the uniqueness of life, its precious, simple moments, and the strength of memory.
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