Since the school shooting has occurred, many parents are asking, “How can I connect with my child and help them process this or if they are experiencing depression or anxiety?”
There are many things you can do as a parent to “check in” with your kids. Talking to them is the first step. It seems simple but can be so hard to do sometimes when kids are tired, or you’ve had a long day. Just being with them and offering support can often be enough to remind them that you care about their well-being and health.
Try a movie night. Let your kids pick the movie that is age appropriate. Sometimes it is fun to choose movies from when you were a kid. Children can learn a lot from a good old 80’s movie. Have popcorn too.
Start a family game night. They often will complain, some may like it, but it is an effective way to have fun with your kids and check how they are doing. The complainers often end up enjoying it. When I say games, I mean board games or cards. These are preferred for social interaction. Get out that old Monopoly game and get going.
If you find that your child is experiencing anger or depression. Talk with them to try to find the cause. If it becomes something that is affecting their home and/or school life it might be time to consult a mental health professional. People with experience working with children can often get them to open up and talk to help you with your child. If you feel this is the situation that you find your child in, call Nelson Family Counseling and I will discuss your concerns with you.
Children are resilient. Sometimes they just need a professional to talk to and that is okay. You are supported here with your son or daughter We can develop a plan.
As far as kids reacting to the shooting, it is important to find an age appropriate way to let kids know that adults are working to make the situation better. Remind them to always follow teacher’s directions during drills so they can learn ways to protect themselves. It is a scary and difficult thing to talk to kids about. Answer their questions the best you can depending on their age. Should you find that your child is experiencing anxiety surrounding this issue that is affecting them in a negative way, call my office. I have experience working with kids experiencing fear and anxiety.