Resources for Parents and Teachers in the Wake of School and Community Violence

Talking to Children About Violence

Talking to Children About Violence (Espanol)

Secondary Traumatic Stress

Following School and Community Violence

Managing Strong Emotional Reactions to Traumatic Events

Going Back to School After a Tragedy

NASP Translated Safety and Crisis Resources

Please contact your child's school is additional support and resources are needed.

Crisis Information for Parents When a Death Occurs

Typical grief process

  • Shock/Denial: Denial, disbelief, numbness, detachment. "it can't be true."
  • Guilt/Blaming: Feelings of shame, unworthiness, relief, and failure. "It's my fault." "if only..."
  • Anger: Angry feelings which may be directed towards deceased, world, God, self, or unrelated. "Why?"
  • Acceptance: Willingness to acknowledge the finality of death and move on with their life.
  • These reactions may occur in any order or at any time during the grief process.

Typical grief reactions

  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Fear of separation
  • Crying for no apparent reason
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty controlling emotions
  • Mood Swings
  • Withdrawal
  • Changes in sleeping habits
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Confused/Disorganized
  • Dreams/flashbacks
  • Impulsivity
  • Hyperactivity
  • Acting out: aggressive, hostile behavior, truancy
  • Irritability
  • Stomach aches/headaches/body aches
  • Regression

What to do

1 . Encourage your child to feel and talk about his/her emotions. Listen! 2. If you are concerned about your child's grief reaction, we encourage you to talk to someone. If you would like to talk to a professional please call your child's school counselor, teacher, minister, or any of the resources in your area (See Below) 3. Encourage your child to share feelings with someone who can offer assurance empathy, and guidance. This may be you or someone with whom you feel comfortable.

Talking with your child about death

1. Be direct, simple, and honest, but gentle. Listen. 2. Accept the emotions and reaction your child expresses and do not tell them how to feel. 3. Be patient. Children need to hear the story and to ask the same questions again and again. 4. Allow your child to decide whether they want to participate in the funeral arrangements. 5. Children's books ran be very helpful. Consult with your local librarian or bookstore.

Some explanations that may not help

"Billy went to sleep and will not wake up.” This explanation may result in the child's fear of going to bed or to sleep. "It is God's will." The child will not understand a God who takes a loved one because he may need God in her/his grief. Also, it may lead to the child hating God. “God took him because he was so good." The child may decide to be bad so that God will not take him too. "David was sick and went to the hospital where he died." The child needs an explanation about "little" and “big" sickness or injuries. Otherwise, she may be fearful of trips to the hospital, or illness, and of injuries.