Helping Kids come out of the trauma of Newtown School Shooting

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Traumatized Kids
Traumatized Kids

Sandy Hook Elementary School, which has been a great resource centre for hundreds of students since years, has now become a center of trauma for those who have experienced the “Mass murder” sometime last week.

The fear in children

Children are into trauma after witnessing “the loss of so many people” at a time. And this probably something most of them had never experienced before. They have been displaying a behavioural problem which is nothing but an aftermath effect of the “pain” they have witnessed.

Children are frightened and uncomfortable with even the daily routine of the life. They are unwilling to go to school as well.

Ways for helping them to come out of trauma

  • Talking always about the issue will not allow them to come out of the pain. However, avoiding the topic by simply stating that “everything will be alright” is another inappropriate approach of handling the issue.
  • Parents should allow these kids to express their fear and pain without getting judgemental.
  • Kids need to be dealt with calmness, stability, understanding and love.
  • You must honestly listen to them and give them practical solutions to the fears they have.
  • Shrugging them off or ignoring the issue would be the last solution to help them.
  • You can talk about the “good experiences” and “good memories” they hold with the school.
  • They can be explained that the “mass murder” was an unfortunate incident which was not intended by the school or by anyone else there.
  • OF course, you need to listen quietly, but be communicative as if you are quiet about the issue, the kids may assume that there is no solution to their pain.
  • Allow the child to ask you as many questions as they want to, you may not have an answer to all of them.

Suggestion from a renowned psychologist

Brien O’Callaghan suggests that in such a situation, the parents must first find out the “level of children’s understanding about the mishap”. For this one may start with questions like “How are you?”, “What did you see yesterday?” and many such questions may be forwarded to the children.

A mishap is always horrifying for the people who have witnessed the same, yet a lot many measures can be adopted if the matter is dealt with calmness and stability.