How To Help Kids Cope After Elem. School Shooting
GAINESVILLE - The school shooting in Connecticut killing 20 children and 6 adults is not only affecting the lives of those in Newtown but people everywhere. Bryan Corley the parent of a two-year old boy, says "It kind of just broke my heart." He says this is something no parent can imagine. "You start thinking about where you are safe. People are getting shot going to the movie theatres, going to a mall in their own schools. You know its like sometimes I kid people but its not too far from the truth. That's why i don't leave my house," Corley says. And while Corley's son JB may be too little to understand, there are other children out there who do.
With a simple push of a button, twist of a knob, click of a website or flip of a newspaper- It's inevitable and it's everywhere. The media may influence many aspects of our lives, but what about our children's? Executive Director of Clinical Psychology Associates of North Central Florida, Dr. Ernest Bordini, says in a time like this parents should provide their kids with reassurance. "Children, especially young children have a very ego-centric view of the world, it centers around them. And their needs are much more concrete in terms of wanting to know if they're safe, is this going to happen to their school," he says.
At times parents may find it easier to tell their kids what they shouldn't do, like don't watch the news. But Bordini suggests parents distract their children with things to do instead. "And what to do has to do with sort of managing a routing… Get to sleep on time, tell your normal bedtime story, exercise… engage in normal activities, this helps normalize life," Bordini says. Dr. Bordini also says parents should make themselves available to any questions their kids may have but to let the children lead the conversation.
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