Saturday, December 15, 2012

Newtown Tragedy: 10 Tips for Coping

In this time of crisis
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Dear Supporter of Save the Children,

Following yesterday's tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, the thoughts of all of us at Save the Children are with our neighbors in this community that is only about 20 miles from our headquarters.

Even as adults try to come to terms with this unspeakable tragedy, we know many parents, teachers, grandparents and caregivers are concerned about how the media's dramatic images and heartbreaking stories might affect the emotional well-being of the children in their lives.

To help you know what to say and do to support children at this difficult time, we want to share 10 tips for helping children cope, suggestions based on our extensive experience working with children in times of crises.

Our suggestions below are more fully explained on our website HERE.

  1. Limit television time.
  2. Listen to your children carefully.
  3. Give reassurance.
  4. Be alert for significant changes in behavior.
  5. Understand children's unique needs.
  6. Give your children extra time and attention.
  7. Be a model for your children -- they will learn from your behavior.
  8. Watch your own behavior and make a point of being sensitive to the crisis.
  9. Help children return to a normal routine.
  10. Encourage volunteer work -- doing something for others.

If you know anyone who might be helped by these tips, I urge you to please share the link

As for our own efforts to be of service, we have already established a Child Friendly Space in a Newtown middle school -- a safe haven where children can play, socialize with their peers and regain a sense of normalcy. We will, of course, offer any help we can in the weeks to come.

As I hugged my own 11-year-old daughter last night, I realized that the most important thing for all of us right now is to remember that children of any age can be affected by a disaster -- and that they look to us to provide them with love, understanding and support.

Carolyn Miles
President & CEO

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Posted via email from Doug's posterous