Saturday, December 15, 2012

Tips for Dealing with the Tragedy in Connecticut: How to Talk to Your Kids

.
The events of yesterday shocked a nation, and devastated me, along with everyone else. It's too much for me to even really get my head around.  Normally when there is a massive tragedy like this one, I get so involved in the details of it.  I become obsessed to an unhealthy degree. But with this one I couldn’t bring myself to even watch a single video of the footage. I did listen to NPR, and cried along with the male reporter who was crying through his report.  But I haven’t turned on the TV. I haven’t let my mind go to the images of that Kindergarten class, gunned down execution style. I've stayed away from the details, from the thought of those parents, those siblings. It's too much to take, too much to imagine.  My babies are in Kindergarten; my son is in fourth grade. It's too much. 


All I wanted to do yesterday was rush home, take my kids out of school, and never let them go back. 
What I most urgently wanted to know yesterday was how to talk to my kids about it when I did pick them up.  How to try to explain what happened, in a way that wouldn’t panic them.  I am very fortunate to have as a personal friend and my mentor for Athletic Life Coaching, E Patrick Miller.  When I came across the tips he had posted to Facebook yesterday evening, I knew I needed to share these with you.  With his permission here is his post.  I hope it helps, as we all try to make sense of this horrific tragedy, grieve and try to make a change to our communities moving forward.


Here are his tips, and guidelines for coping, and responding to this nationwide colossal mayhem:

“Clinically, I've been dealing with the tragedy in Connecticut all day long.  I was involved in the aftermath of Columbine, many years ago.


If you are easily triggered, from past traumatic experiences Do Not Watch Television at all.  It may have adverse effects on your heart and soul.  If you are at risk, or feel you are:

  • Sit with your feelings, in the company of good friends, and let it pass through you.
  • Call your health care provider, or therapist, so you can diffuse the process of this event.

If you have children:

  • Hug them close, but not tight. They will sense your uneasiness.  They have great sonar, as opposed to their radar, which may be in a confused and in a bewildered state, as you also may be.
  • When they are asking you questions about this critical event, answer them honestly.  Keeping in mind their ability to understand, their age, developmental sequences of cognitive abilities...In other words, speak in their language.
  • Make sure you reassure them that they are safe and you love them dearly, and that yes there are very bad people in this world and we feel for all of the kids, families and people who are effected right now.
  • Take the time to just be quiet and sit with them, so they can feel your tactile presence, of sitting next to them.
  • Check on them regularly. But with ease and comfort.
  • Allow them to have their own space, to feel the feelings if they need to,.
  • If your children see you crying, let them know, it is really OK to feel your feelings and that is what you are doing.  You are feeling sad for all the kids and families who have been directly and dramatically affected by this senseless and deranged assault on humanity."

If you would like to contact E Patrick Miller, please feel free to message him on Facebook.

E Patrick Miller with Lamar Odom
Is "The Zen Coach", a Clinical Sports Psychologist, and one of the pioneers of Athletic Life Coaching, as well as a corporate Life Coach.  His clients include the NBA, corporate CEO's for Fortune 500 companies, professional players and coaches. He has a private practice that specializes in significant family systems, mental health issue, all forms of addiction and recovery. He is based in Beverly Hills Ca.
 



~Written by: Sarah Centrella for Thoughts.Stories.Life.
 *This is an interactive blog please leave your comments and thoughts, I will respond :)

1 comment:

  1. Its easy to lose track that this is a beautiful world when things like this happen, just keep peace in your heart and send love like you are now. <3 <3 <3

    ReplyDelete