Recent events involving a shooting close to home, at Freeman High School, have created concern and great sympathy in our community.
Our thoughts go out to the families and entire community of Freeman and we hope for the quick recovery of those injured in the shooting. We are sending thoughts of support and caring to each of you as you work to handle this tragic news. As parents, we all feel the pain of this loss. We have offered our support to Freeman by communicating with our local ESD, which also serves Freeman.
Your child may need extra support as they hear of the incident through the media and listen to conversations in the community. The following are some tips for you in helping your children with their feelings and thoughts about this incident. It is important to keep in mind the age and emotional maturity of your children as you decide what to share.
- Limit your children’s exposure to the news.
- If they initiate a conversation, let them talk. Ask “What do you know about what happened?” and focus them back on the facts which have been substantiated.
- Discuss the events in concrete terms and without unnecessary information. Avoid creating mental images of frightening sights.
- Talk to your children about their feelings, and focus them back on the facts which have been substantiated.
- Maintain your normal family routine as much as possible. Children are accustomed to their schedule and too much upheaval will increase their anxiety.
- Reassure them that your family is safe. If they continue to be anxious, consider the following:
- Before bedtime, have them check the doors and windows with you.
- Give them a flash light or whistle to keep by their bedside.
- Ask them for ideas about how to keep the family safe. This may help them feel empowered.
- Your children may be in need of more attention, exhibit anxiety, or have problems sleeping. This is a normal response. Reassurance will help them to feel better. Plan on making more time to be together.
- Be watchful of noticeable changes in behavior over the next few weeks. Agitation, anger, and sadness can all be normal responses, and children may work to distance themselves from the situation. If your child or family has experienced a crisis in the past, news of an incident like this can trigger former anxiety. Call your child’s pediatrician or other helping professional for resources to support your children. School counselors are also available to provide support and resources.
- Take care of yourself. Make sure you are receiving support from your adult family and friends. Your children take their lead from you. The better you are able to handle this news, the better your children will be able to manage it as well.
The following resource may also be helpful: https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources/school-safety-and-crisis/school-violence-prevention/school-violence-prevention-tips-for-parents-and-educators
The Administrators of Pullman Public Schools