Available for interviews is Dr. Henry Cloud, Clinical Psychologist and New York Times best-selling author.
Here are some thoughts from Dr. Cloud on how parents and adults can help children process the Connecticut shooting:
As a parent, the events unfolding in Connecticut on Friday were particularly difficult to process. Many were asking the question “why”? Why would someone act so violently toward innocent children? How could someone take these little lives so needlessly?
There will be plenty of time spent trying to answer that question. And while we may never know the real answer, there is a much more important task for us as parents. We must help our children deal with the fear and insecurity that an event like this can cause them.
Whether your child was in the school that day or simply learned about it on the radio after you picked them up from school, they could be affected by the event. How can we as parents and adults, help children process this event? Here are a few things you can do:
1 – Shield them from television news reports that show the event in a loop over and over again. They do not realize that the event happened and is now over. If they see this news coverage they think it is still going on. Get them away from television news and out doing something fun or a normal part of their day.
2 – Be calm and close. Frightened children need to know their loved ones are near. Be there for them. Kids take their cues from adults so remain calm. If you show panic, they will panic. If you are traumatized as well, process those feelings somewhere away from them. How they see you reacting will either scare them or calm them. Be a calm model.
3 – Give them chances to talk and express what they are feeling. If they have heard about it, let them talk and find out what they are thinking. You need to know what they have heard from other kids and you can help clarify things for them.
4 – Watch their behaviors for what they aren’t talking about: behavior changes, clinging, sleep disturbances, anxiety, fighting, or withdrawal. If you see these, find out what is going on and get help if it persists.
5 – Remind them they are safe. Emphasize the “bigness” of the good guys. Remind them that you, teachers, police, firefighters, etc. are all there to keep them safe.
6 – Return to normal life – schedules, routines, structure, playing with friends. They will see that while this bad thing happened, their world still goes on
Overall, they need to know the closeness and support of their loved ones. You have the power to make their world safe again.
MEDIA CONTACT: Sheena Tahilramani, firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: (202) 340-5536
ABOUT DR. HENRY CLOUD (www.drcloud.com): Dr. Cloud is a clinical psychologist, leadership consultant, best-selling author, and speaker whose books have sold over 5 million copies. Drawing upon his broad range of experiences in private practice, leadership consulting, and media, he simplifies life’s issues and gives easy to understand, practical advice. It’s Dr. Cloud’s humor, compassion and “in the moment” confrontation that make his approach to psychology, business and spirituality such a success.
Dr. Cloud has written, or co-written, more than twenty books, including the two-million-seller Boundaries and his most recent books, Necessary Endings, Integrity, The One Life Solution, The Law of Happiness and 9 Things You Simply Must Do. His books have sold over six million copies. His works has been reviewed and featured by such publications as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times and many others. Dr. Cloud co-hosts the nationally syndicated radio program New Life Live, which is heard in over 180 markets.