ACCESS-ABILITY ACCESS-ABILITY_Vol1_Issue4 - Page 48

SAFE 2 TALK Act s of violen ce t h at dr aw a lot of at t en t ion f r om t h e m edia, par t icu lar ly sch ool sh oot in gs, can con f u se an d f r igh t en ch ildr en beyon d t h eir developm en t al levels of copin g abilit y. Th ey m ay becom e clin gy, r est less, or even begin t o exh ibit sign s of sch ool r ef u sal. It is im por t an t t o addr ess t h e f ear s an d qu est ion s dir ect ly. It is also im por t an t t o con t in u e n or m al r ou t in es. Fir st an d f or em ost , ch ildr en n eed t o k n ow t h at t h eir sch ools an d f am ilies ar e saf e. Rem in d t h em t h at t h er e ar e m an y adu lt s at sch ool t o k eep t h em saf e. Rem in d older ch ildr en of w ays t h ey can h elp k eep sch ool saf e, su ch as n ot if yin g t each er s w h en t h ey h ear som et h in g, w h en som et h in g doesn?t look r igh t , or if t h ey see st r an ger s on cam pu s. Th e Nat ion al Associat ion of Sch ool Psych ologist s of f er s t h e f ollow in g t ips. 1) Reassu r e ch ildr en t h at t h ey ar e saf e, bu t validat e t h eir f eelin gs. It is im por t an t f or ch ildr en t o sen se t h at t h eir r eal f eelin gs ar e bein g h ear d an d n ot dism issed. 2) M ak e t im e t o t alk . Som e ch ildr en m ay display sign als t h ey ar e r eady t o t alk bu t m ay n ot k n ow h ow t o st ar t . Be aler t f or sign als su ch as h over in g. 3) Keep explan at ion s developm en t ally appr opr iat e. You n g ch ildr en n eed validat ion an d r eassu r an ce t h ey ar e saf e. Older ch ildr en m ay n eed an ou t let f or t h eir f eelin gs, su ch as an an t i-violen ce gr ou p on cam pu s. Older ch ildr en w ill lik ely sh ar e su ggest ion s f or h ow t o solve t h e pr oblem , an d t h ey n eed an aven u e f or t h ese su ggest ion s. 4) Review saf e adu lt s in f or m at ion an d saf et y pr ocedu r es. 5) Obser ve ch ildr en?s em ot ion al st at e. An y ch an ge? in clu din g sleep pat t er n s, appet it e, pr oxim it y, r egr essive beh avior s, ir r it abilit y, an d som at ic com plain t s? can sign al em ot ion al dist r ess. 6) Lim it t elevision ? par t icu lar ly if t h e t elevision is locat ed in com m on ar eas. Ch ildr en can over h ear developm en t ally in appr opr iat e in f or m at ion t h at m ay in cr ease t h eir level of f ear an d w or r y. Lik ew ise, be car ef u l of con ver sat ion s abou t violen t even t s t h at can be over h ear d by lit t le ear s. 7) M ain t ain a n or m al r ou t in e.