"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:
- IndyStar Video:How Parents, Children Can Cope With School Shooting Tragedy (Professionals from the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families. Mobile crisis service is available 24/7 statewide at 1-800-969-HELP.)
- The Fred Rogers Company: Fred Rogers Talks About Tragic Events in the News
- PBS Arthur Special Program: Helping Our Children Feel SafeNOTE: Parents, WFYI 1 will present ARTHUR special today (12/19) @ 3:30pm “Helping Our Children Feel Safe” http://to.pbs.org/Wjrd1a
- El Señor Rogers: Cómo ayudar a los niños con acontecimientos trágicos en las noticias
- National Association for the Education of Young Children: Coping With a School Shooting
- National Association of School Psychologists: Helping Children Cope
- American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: Talking to Children about Community Violence
- The New York Times: Tips for Talking to Children About the Shooting
- The New York Times Parenting Blog Motherlode: How Not to Talk With Children About the Sandy Hook Shooting
- LA Times: Helping Children Cope With Tragedy
- The National Institute of Health: Coping With Trauma after Violence and Disasters
- United Way of Connecticut: Helping Children and Families Cope With Trauma
- National Council of Teachers of English: Responding to Tragedy ins Schools - Supporting Teachers and Students
How to Help:
If your family would like to do something tangible to help, here are some sites that have been set up to support Sandy Hook families. This is a list of the major funds that have been established. The USA Today, ABC News and CNN articles list numerous links to pages in support of individual children as well as links to specialized organizations such as a k-9 comfort team and a national online sympathy card. 11 Small Acts and #26Acts list numerous ways to show kindness, support & community awareness in honor of the 26 victims.
- Sandy Hook School Support Fund
- My Sandy Hook Family Fund
- Newtown Memorial Fund
- Newtown Youth and Family Services
- Newtown Parent Connection
- 11 Small Acts That Can Have a Huge Impact
- #26 Acts - People around the country are committing random acts of kindness in honor of the victims. Connected through the hashtag #26Acts
- USA Today: How to Help People of Sandy Hook & Newtown, Conn.
- ABC News: How to Help Newtown, Connecticut
- CNN: Help for Victims of Sandy Hook
|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 librarians would be happy to help you find books like these.|
|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 - 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 - This book tells children that although terrible things happen, there is still hope that the world can be a better place.||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 - 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 - 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 - A little girl gets anxious about separation from her mommy when she goes to school.||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 - 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 - 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 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.|