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Dr. Joshua Weiner offers advice on helping children cope with the tragedy in Newtown, Conn.
School districts and psychiatrists in the area are offering advice to parents on how to help their young children deal with the tragedy in Newtown, Conn.
Matthew G. Biel, M.D., M.Sc., chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and assistant professor of clinical psychiatry and pediatrics at Georgetown University Medical Center advises parents to minimize their children’s exposure to media coverage of the massacre and to assure their children that their homes and schools are safe places. But he also advised parents follow their children’s leads. If they ask questions, answer them succinctly and directly. If not, just wait.
Anne Arundel County Public Schools asked parents to monitor their children’s reactions and activities in the days to come, as parents can best gauge children’s moods. Parents should let their children know it’s OK for them to express their emotions. Also, it’s OK to not have the answer to every question, especially following an inexplicable tragedy like the one at Sandy Hook. The school system has counseling available to help parents and students.
Dr. Joshua Weiner reminded that children’s reactions might not be immediate. The school shooting’s impact may not begin to manifest itself for several days.
Howard County Public Schools told parents they may see signs of sadness in their children over the next several weeks. The school system offered the following suggestions for supporting their children: