It may not be possible to understand a tragedy like the one in Newtown, Conn., but parents and teachers can help children cope with fear and insecurity.
A number of resources are available.
Helping Children Cope After a School Shooting The ICHOC offers the following suggestions to help guide parents, teachers, and caring adults to best support children who may be grieving, concerned, or troubled by the school shooting:
How To Talk To Kids About A School Shooting from Aha! Parenting.Com
There Is No Lesson Plan For Tragedy – Teachers YOU Know What To Do A blog post from Angela Maiers
Talking with Children about School Violence: Advice from the Lucy Daniels Center in North Carolina and tailored for children 11 years old or younger.
Talking to Kids about School Safety: Mental Health America also offers suggestions, along with a list of signs that indicate a child may need help.
Caring for Kids After Trauma, Disaster and Death: A Guide for Parents and Professionals: A report published by The New York Child Study Center (PDF).
"Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers”: From the National Association of School Psychologists (PDF).
Talking to Children about Community Violence: advice from the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
National Institute of Mental Health: A free booklet that describes what parents can do to help children and adolescents cope with violence and disasters.
PBS Parents: Tools for talking with kids of all ages about these difficult stories.
National Child Traumatic Stress Network: More tools for parents in the aftermath of a traumatic event.