I wasn’t sure just quite when to share this material with the holidays and all, but I thought it was definitely worth spreading the word about these useful materials. The U.S. Department of Education has put out a number of publications in the past few years on the topics of safety, crime and violence.
Personally, I didn’t want to tell the kids about the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut… but then when it turned out that LD’s two gymnastics teammates lost their cousin (that post is here) that horrible day I was glad I had prepared him a bit. We haven’t gone into much more about it with him since then, but we are definitely keeping our ears open — especially at that precious snuggle time at the end of the day.
I found this publication, “Helping Kids and Families Cope with Trauma,” filled with some good tips and behaviors to look out for when kids have had to deal with stress. Here are a few screen shots:
This is also available in Spanish.
There is also a brochure on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and Communities which is a guide to cope with everything from natural disasters, to medical emergencies, bomb threats and more in your school, your church, or during youth group activities. There are simple reminders like make sure you have fire drills and tell kids where the emergency exits (and meeting points are). I definitely found this useful and worth the time to read through because it brought up things I hadn’t thought of (like reverse fire drills for coming inside quickly). This document also has quite a lengthy section on recovering from a crisis.
Here are some other publications available from the U.S. Department of Education if you (or your school) wants to explore this topic further.