Parent Resources for Difficult Conversations

To help navigate some difficult conversations, we are sharing some helpful resources for you and your family.

Key points to consider

  1. Limit your student’s exposure to media coverage of the event

  2. Try not to transfer your anxieties to your student

  3. Always keep in mind your student’s developmental level and capacity for understanding

  4. Provide reassurance about safety and security

  5. Give honest, factual answers to questions

  6. Answer only the question you are asked; do not elaborate

  7. Allow your student to verbally or actively process the event

    1. Drawing pictures, writing

    2. Opportunities to ask questions, give respectful and honest answers

  8. Allow your student to express feelings

  9. Your student may need to repeat certain things or ask the same questions over and over

  10.  As adults, we have feelings as well.  Modeling that capacity is healthy.

  11. Provide lots of reassurance and validation of what your student is feeling

  12. Support your student’s thoughts and respond to concerns, however, maintain expectations for appropriate behavior

  13. Continue to offer structure, provide a stable environment and predictable schedule

From the National Association of School Psychologists

For All Ages

For Elementary School Students

Resilience in a time of war: Tips for parents and teachers of elementary school children: This article from the American Psychological Association can help adults guide their young children beyond fear and to resilience. 

For Middle School Students

Resilience in a time of war: Tips for parents and teachers of middle school children: The American Psychological Association provides tips and strategies for parents and teachers of middle school-aged children.

Other Resources for Parents and Caregivers

National Child Traumatic Stress Network Resources 

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has developed resources to help children, families, educators, and communities navigate what they are seeing and hearing, acknowledge their feelings, and find ways to cope together. These resources include:

·         Coping After Mass Violence: For Adults

·         For Teens: Coping After Mass Violence(En Español)

Psychological First Aid

The NCTSN also has resources for responders on Psychological First Aid (PFA; En Español). PFA is an early intervention to support children, adolescents, adults, and families impacted by these types of events. PFA Mobile and the PFA Wallet Card (En Español) provide a quick reminder of the core actions. The PFA online training course is also available at the NCTSN Learning Center.

 Additional PFA resources for schools include:

 From the National Mass Violence and Victimization Resource Center

·  Transcend (mobile app to assist with recovery after mass violence)

·  Rebuild your Community: Resources for Community Leaders

·  Media Guidelines for Homicide Family Survivors

·  Timeline of Activities to Promote Mental Health Recovery

·  Self-Help: Resources for Survivors

·  E-learning Courses: Trainings for Clinicians

·  Resources for Victim Assistance Professionals