The Shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut has impacted the world. The following material is adapted from Worried No More: Help and Hope for Anxious Children by Aureen P. Wagner, Ph.D.; How to help Children Cope with Trauma, Tragedy, War and Violence.

Strategies for Coping with Trauma, Tragedy, War and Violence

Terrorism, war, school shootings and kidnapping of innocent children have unleashed anxiety about our “worst fears” coming true. Many adults have been deeply troubled by these events and have had difficulty understanding and coping with them. Children are less able, as a rule, to make sense of violent events and cope with them than are adults. It is important to keep in mind that reactions to trauma are a process, not an event, and may manifest in different ways over time. How can you help your child cope with trauma, disasters, tragedies and terrorism in today’s society? How can you help them understand the violence in the world? How can you keep your child safe in this day and age? How much should you tell them about the dangers of the world and how to fend for themselves?

The following are some Do’s and Don’ts that parents and school personnel can use to help children cope:



Below are links to practical documents from A Practical Guide for Crisis Response in Our Schools: Sixth Edition and Comprehensive Acute Traumatic Stress Management, both publications of the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. They include useful information for assisting professionals in addressing the emergent psychological needs of those impacted by this tragic event.