Lufkin child advocacy center passes on tips for helping kids deal with CT tragedy


LUFKIN, TX (News Release) - As child advocates, Harold's House would like to remind the community that the shocking violence Friday in Connecticut impacting elementary-aged children in the school environment highlights the necessity for parents, teachers, and other caregivers to be aware of any related trauma our East Texas children and families might be experiencing as these unsettling events unfold.

A statement from Laura Squiers, executive director, Harold's House East Texas Alliance for Children:

"We are shocked and saddened by the events that have occurred in Connecticut and our hearts and prayers go out to the families who have suffered this tragedy. Please remember to give your kids an extra hug, and reassurance that we live in a safe world."

Here are some recommendations from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network:

  1. Maintain usual routines. Normalcy will communicate the message that children are safe and life will go on.
  2. Assure children they are safe at home and school, and give information on what parents and teachers do to keep children safe.
  3. Give children choices. Often traumatic events imply a loss of control and/or chaos, so you can help children feel safe by providing choices or control where appropriate.
  4. Provide a safe place for a child to talk about what has happened, allowing them to express giving simple and realistic answers to their questions while clarifying distortions and misconceptions.
  5. Warn children if you will be doing something out of the ordinary, such as turning off the lights or making a sudden loud noise.
  6. Set clear, firm limits for inappropriate behavior and develop logical, safe consequences rather than punishment-driven response.
  7. Recognize that behavioral problems may be transient and related to trauma. Remember that even the most disruptive behaviors can be driven by trauma-related anxiety.