Statement on the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas
We are deeply saddened by the horrific events at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Once again, our children are faced with trying to make sense of a senseless act. Our hearts are with the parents and family members of the victims. As caregivers, we are shaken to our core at the thought of harm coming to any child, and our instinct, as it should be, is to protect them during these moments of unthinkable violence.
In days that follow, our children are going to be exposed on social media to varying opinions about what happened, the motivations of the perpetrator, and what should have been done to prevent further violence from occurring in the future. it is up to us caregivers to help our children navigate these emotionally charged times they are living in.
The National Association of School Psychologists suggests we should:
Reassure children that they are safe. Let them talk about their feelings and put them into perspective.
Be available to talk. Let their questions guide the conversation. Watch for clues they want to talk. If they are hovering around you as you do the dishes or yard work, that is an indicator they are looking to have an audience with you. Be receptive.
Keep our explanations developmentally appropriate. A child in early elementary school will look at what happened yesterday through a different prism than a child in upper elementary school and early middle school. And the same is true for a child in upper middle school/high school. Focus on their current “lived” experiences.
Review school safety procedures with our children.
Be mindful of our children’s emotional state. How are they reacting to the event? Are they struggling? What can you do to provide emotional and mental health comfort? If you have any questions, speak with a mental health professional who can provide you with support.
All our hearts break for the victims and their families and friends.
As we move forward, it is important for all of us to remember that children are safer when we all come together.
New Hampshire Children's Trust