October 23, 2014
We are all shocked and saddened by the events that took place in Ottawa yesterday. Our thoughts are with all of those affected.
Although events like this are extremely rare and there are no local safety concerns related to yesterday’s incident, we recognize the impact it can have on each of us – our children, our staff, our families, and our friends. Individuals will have varied reactions to situations like this. Any reaction is normal including sadness, grief, helplessness, anxiety, and anger.
Here are some tips to help you support your children:
- Recognize that children may become concerned that something bad will happen to themselves, family, or friends. Explain that safety measures are in place and reassure them that you and other adults will take care of them.
- If your child is not focused on the tragedy, do not dwell on it. Try to avoid having detailed adult conversations regarding the tragedy in front of children. However, be available to answer questions to the best of your ability. Young children may not be able to express themselves verbally. Pay attention to any changes in their behaviour or social interactions.
- Limit your child’s exposure to media coverage. Images of a disaster or crisis can become overwhelming, especially if watched repetitively.
- Maintain normal family routines as much as possible.
- Be aware of your own needs. Don’t ignore your own feelings of anxiety, grief, and anger. Talking to friends, family members, faith leaders and mental health counsellors can help. Let your children know you are sad. You will be better able to support them if you can express your own emotions in a productive manner.
Our top priority is always the safety and well-being of our students. There is help available at our school if needed. Please contact me if you are concerned about your child.