There are a lot of people hurting these days after the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. As a mother of a kindergarten student, I am completely saddened and terrified. I can not even imagine what the parents of the 20 students who died are going through. It is unthinkable! I think it’s safe to say we are all heartbroken over this. I wanted to pass along some information our school district sent us. This is some great advice just in case your kids are asking questions or in case you wanted to talk with your kids about this tragedy. ¢ Strongly consider limiting exposure to the media. Repeatedly watching scenes of or hearing about violence can cause more anxiety in children. ¢ Explain the event calmly. Even young children will sense something's wrong. ¢ Explain at your child's age level. For example, give fewer details for younger children. ¢ Be honest. But, try not to add your own fears to your child's. Admit it if you don't have answers to questions. ¢ Help your child feel safe. Point out that most people are good. ¢ Validate that school employees will do everything they can to maintain your child's safety at school. ¢ Help your child express feelings. Ask about and listen to your child's thoughts and feelings. Don't criticize. Let him or her know it's normal to be upset. ¢ Don't force the discussion or bring up the topic too much. ¢ Help your child stay healthy. Make sure your child eats right and gets enough rest and physical activity. These things can help people of all ages cope with stress. We all want to know our kids will be safe at school. Now we wonder how schools can make sure that happens. I hope we will NEVER have to hear a story like this again.

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