“Nothing is much to be feared as fear”. When Henry David Thoreau penned these words in his journal on September 7, 1851 he had no idea that Franklin Roosevelt would be inspired by them while preparing his first Inaugural speech or how true they would be in 2015.
Many parents need to "get it together" and remember that how they emotionally respond to traumatic events significantly impacts how their children will react and process the event. Parents model behavior to their children and that can be good or bad.
This doesn't mean we don't acknowledge emotions such as fear, anxiety, depresssion or grief. There are healthy ways to understand and process these emotions. But "freaking out" is not one of them. The American Psychological Association (APA) has done a great job at providing free resources to help parents learn how to model behavior and talk to their kids about traumatic events. Click on the link to learn more. http://apa.org/helpcenter/talking-to-children.aspx
This isn’t just about threats of violence at schools. More and more we are seeing parents overreacting to everything from a child’s poor grades, losing a sporting event or hearing of hazardous events in the community. These parents are exploding with emotion and becoming overwhelmed by the event instead of rationally processing what is happening. It is no wonder this same parenting strategy has carried over to threats of violence at our schools. Upon hearing about a violent threat made toward a school they are running to school in tears with faces filled with fear yanking their children out of the classroom and fleeing the school campus. This needs to stops. How can children possibly focus on learning when parents have just told their child that schools aren’t safe by how they reacted to an anonymous threat?
The reality is school campuses are statistically one of the safest places in our community and these threats have a 99% chance of never coming to fruition. One of the most dangerous public places in our communities for acts of mass violence is restaurants and parents don’t seem to have any trouble taking their kids there.
These parents can’t change how they reacted in the past but they can change how they react moving forward by utilizing some of the strategies provided by the APA. This is John Baker for safetysolutions4kids.com. Image courtesy of CBS News for Indianapolis.com.
Click to edit your new post...