After the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas earlier this week, parents and caregivers are looking for answers on how to talk to their kids about yet another tragedy. This one involving a gunman who entered an elementary school and shot and killed 19 children and two teachers. In an interview on WGBH, Dr. Eugene Beresin, Executive Director of the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Mass General, gives parents some practical guidelines on how to explain these events to children.
The Clay Center also provides a very useful list of resources to help support families to navigate the topics of school shootings and gun violence with children.
After a Mass Shooting – Caregiver Resources (Clay Center for Young Health Minds)
How to Talk With Kids About Gun Violence (Eugene Beresin, MD and Gretchen Felopulos, PhD in Psychology Today)
An Age-by-Age Guide to Talking to Children About Mass Shootings (New York Times)
Dr. Beresin emphasizes that parents and caregivers must first manage their own anxiety first and likens this to what we hear every time we board an airplane: “put on your own mask first before assisting others”.
Some Other Resources:
Helping Students After a School Shooting (American School Counselor Association)