• Violence in the News Again

    Posted by Rene Shelton on 10/3/2017 10:00:00 AM

    The news this weekend has been tragic and it is difficult to watch.  It seems that every news outlet has been trying to make sense of the event.  Often this means running the same scenes over and over again.  The repetition makes it difficult for parents to keep up with the events without creating anxiety and fear in the children in their own home. 


    Here is information that you might find helpful:


    From:  PBS.org >> Talking with Kids about News.  This page has several links to excellent information about how to talk and listen to your child's concerns, an age-by-age insight with tips, how to respond if your child's play begins to reflect violence in the news, and tips on getting conversations started about difficult topics in the news.

    Talking with Kids about the News


    From:  The School Crisis Center  This PDF document helps you address questions from children and teens, like:  What happened?  Whose fault is it?  Is this going to change my life?  As well as questions you, as the parent might have, like:  Will talking about it make it worse?  What if talking upsets them more?  How can I tell if my kids need more than I can give? 

    Guidelines for Talking to Kids about Tragedies


    For other entries related to this topic,  check the list on the right for other articles tagged "difficult news."





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  • Natural Disasters - Hurricanes and Floods

    Posted by Rene Shelton on 9/13/2017

    Natural Disasters are very difficult to comprehend and process. They seem to chip away at our feelings of safety and security.  It is no different with children and adolescents.   



    From the American School Counselor Assocation, here are some things to remember:


    1.  As much as possible, keep routines normal.  There is a feeling of security in the predictability of knowing what is expected and what will happen next.  This includes attending school.


    2.  Limit your child's exposure to media.  Seeing traumatic things repeatedly is not helpful.  Also, limit your child's exposure to social media.  Often postings are more harmful than helpful.


    3.  Be honest with your child about the situation and share as much as they are developmentally able to handle.  


    4.  Listen to your child's concerns and fears. Explain that some concerns and fears are common to everyone living through the disaster.  When you can address the concerns, do so.  Never tell your child that everything will be okay.  It is not a promise you can absolutely keep.  What you can tell your child is that you will always work to keep them safe.  Then, focus on the next actions you will take to help the both of you get through the situation together.


    5.  Deal with your own responses to the stress of the situation.  If you are able, find a trusted adult to talk to - but do so outside of your child's hearing.  The fears of adults are often caught by the children.  Talking to a trusted adult or an adult who can help sets a good example for your child.


    6.  Reassure your child of your love and care for them.  Simply knowing someone cares about your well-being helps!



    Other sources of helpful information include:

    Helping Children Cope: Tips for Parents and Caregivers

    FEMA's Helping Children Cope with Disaster

    National Child Traumatic Stress Network's Helping Young Children Heal


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  • Violence in the News

    Posted by Rene Shelton on 8/14/2017

    Here are some links you might find helpful:


    Talking to kids about Charlottesville:



    From the National Association of School Psychologists, Talking to children adout violence:



    Click on the difficult news tag in the right column to find other helpful links.



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  • How do I talk to my child about the series "13 Reasons Why"

    Posted by Rene Shelton on 4/28/2017

    Here are additional links which you might find helpful:


    From Common Sense Media:  Common Sense Media Review


    From the Jed Foundation:  What Viewers Should Consider


    Suicide Prevention information and LifeLine:  We Can All Prevent Suicide


    If you have not seen the Current Headlines on our department's front page: Talking about "13 Reasons Why" and Guidance for Families from NASP  


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  • How do I talk to my child about cancer?

    Posted by Rene Shelton on 3/8/2017

    Sickness and disease touches all of our families.  Here is a link from the American Cancer Society with tips for helping children when a family member has cancer and helping them deal with the treatment.


    Helping Children When a Family Member Has Cancer: Dealing With Treatment


    Here is a booklet from PBS to help:



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  • How to Stay Safe if You Play Pokemon Go

    Posted by Rene Shelton on 11/16/2016

    Pokemon Go:  6 Tips for Keeping your Kids Safe


    This link will take you to an article written for parents about how to keep your child safe if they decide to play this game:




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  • How do I talk to my child about election results?

    Posted by Rene Shelton on 11/9/2016

    Let’s talk about what it means to be part of a democracy.


    Here is a link to a video that explains how our government is made up of three branches and how they check each other’s work and find ways to work together to make it better for everyone. 



    And here’s another explaining how laws are made.  Lots of people are looking and discussing what should and should not be laws.




    Here are some things children and adults can do:

    >  Be a person who is respectful, truthful, and willing to solve conflicts with compassion for everyone involved.  Set that example for others to see.

    >  Be an UpStander.  When you see things that are disrespectful, respectfully name it and ask for things to change.  Let an adult know if it does not get resolved.

    >  Talk to the adults around you and learn what you and others can do if you are concerned about what is going on.  Learn about the government and the way it is supposed to operate.

    >  If you haven’t heard of the Peace Table, ask your counselor about it.  If they don’t know, they will find out about it for you and help you learn how to use this powerful tool to resolve issues with respect and kindness.

    >  If you are worried, talk to a trusted adult.  Share this list with the adult and ask if you can work together to resolve your worries. 

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  • Scary situations

    Posted by Rene Shelton on 10/25/2016

    Some things are just scary to kids.  Here are suggestions about how to talk to your child about those things that create fright:


    Kids:  Things that are scary



    Kids:  What to do in an emergency




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  • How do I talk to my child about death?

    Posted by Rene Shelton on 9/1/2016 7:00:00 PM

    How do I talk to my child about death?  

    It is important that you share your family's beliefs about death.  Let your child know that different families and different cultures may believe different things.  One thing we can agree upon is that we can still love the person who has died.

    Here are some helpful links:

    From KidsHealth, for parents:   



    From the National Child Traumatic Stress Network: http://www.nctsn.org/sites/default/files/assets/pdfs/talking_points_about_services.pdf


    From ChildrendMD:  



    What can I do to help my grieving child?


    From the National Association of School Psychlogists:  




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  • How do I talk to my kids about natural disasters?

    Posted by Rene Shelton on 8/8/2016 5:45:00 PM

    KidsHealth.org has great pages for parents, kids, and teens.  Here are two links related to natural disasters:


    For Kids:



    And for Teens, information on ways to help.



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