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LPS social worker: Reassure our children after Colorado shootings
Young children don’t need a complicated, in-depth discussion, but they do need to be reassured about their safety after events such as last week’s Colorado multiplex theater shooting.
“Little children need that extra reassurance and feelings of security,” according to Paula Kucera – a social worker for Lincoln Public Schools and team leader on the LPS Crisis Response Team – who spoke on KFOR radio Monday morning offering advice to parents.
“I think we definitely need to spend time with our children after these kinds of tragedies,” Kucera said. “We need to tell them that their parents are here, in charge, taking good care of them, doing their best to make sure they are fine. They don’t need an elaborate explanation.”
Children who are older elementary and into middle school will likely remember previous such shootings, Kucera explained, and will need more discussion.
“We need to remind them that although they will hear a lot about this incident in the news and on TV, they are still very, very rare events – and that the adults in their lives are doing their very best to make sure things like this never happen again. It’s OK to talk about new safety measures – steps adults are taking.”
Of course, she stressed, parents need to understand their children, and recognize that some kids are more sensitive than others, and act accordingly.
“It’s interesting when you look at the research,” Kucera said, “that our children’s reaction to traumatic events most often mirrors the reaction of adults in their lives. In other words, if a parent responds calmly, discusses and reassures a child – then the child is likely to cope.”
Published: July 23, 2012
Updated: July 23, 2012