Helping children cope with tragedy
Psychotherapist Tom Kersting explains
- Duration 4:49
- Date Dec 16, 2012
Psychotherapist Tom Kersting explains
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Tomorrow we'll be the first school day practicing law after the horrific shooting in Newtown Connecticut for many kids.
And even those who did not witness the tragedy your were not involved because so we try to tell us they just hearing about it so how can we as parents talk to our kids and help them cope with this.
-- person is a psychotherapist and -- school counselor it's great to have you with us on defense to have some advice.
-- you -- my I think my perspective as little unique consider working private practice as therapist.
In in a school system and I have young children in elementary school then you're the perfect person so let's talk about let's break it down by age for the academy does.
Depend upon how -- your kids are for kids who are under eight years old that's my kids that's -- kids.
What should we be telling the office I think what we need to do kids under eight we need to insulate them from this problem -- I mean I think some -- some parents feel the need to kind of talk -- -- young kids about this.
But I'm I'm big on maintaining our kids innocents especially at a young age so.
You know -- things that parents can do is just it really really be aware of what you were doing during a -- that yet the television on your watching.
You know clips of the Connecticut shooting on it on and off.
So if you can't insulate them at their Hungary and never mention it that's what you should do but if -- somehow.
C news reports then how do you talk that they bring it up to you yet talked to them about it but again you don't -- -- -- you don't want to overdo with them they don't wanna instill fear upon young kids we want -- -- go back to school that's important that's important -- answer briefly answer briefly -- at same time you know -- due respect their emotions obviously and if they wanna -- you -- go ahead and talk to -- talked to -- about -- -- -- -- -- -- -- children -- eight years -- Through twelve years old with their adolescence Howard yes taught us a little different again you don't want to overdo with these kids you can talk to them about it you probably want to initiated within -- see how they're feeling.
But the same time you don't -- to continue to overdo the process and talk to them like you'd like you talk to your husband your wife about it.
We wanna make sure that our kids feel safe that's that's you know important key number one.
Do -- make sure that you're aware as a parent the bureau anxiety.
We feel the energy from others around us our kids are gonna feel our own fears and our own anxiety so we really need to step up to -- here and -- too -- to see if we don't feel safe.
They're not just what about grief are they allowed to see you greeting or should you keep a stiff upper -- around but again having -- you know you don't wanna be shouldn't years all of us -- -- -- -- -- An atmosphere that's just doom and gloom.
To -- -- to some extent but -- -- on your own.
You know what your husband be the -- here again.
Twelve years old and older teenagers -- until it's twelve years old old these kids get it they understand I think this is an opportunity now maybe talk to them about it.
-- to see what their feeling to see what they're Tiki is on this problem.
I think important component to it with -- and teenage years -- has a tendency to throw jokes around and be immature but I think we really need to drive home yet these young.
Budding adolescents that.
This is serious stuff this is not something to be taken lightly.
Have your kids -- and community service that you have been taken opportunity to help out.
In India make a difference in the world that's a great one and that's a great want to turn to grief into action somehow -- show -- the way to do that we're gonna see a lot of schools -- it's -- my high school -- work is going to be a lot of things going on kids are gonna be really stepping up to the plate and just have a hopefully some good can come out of this one of the things we just -- in the previous segment deep -- was asking.
Will these kids ever go back to sandy -- elementary school -- they go about I was just talking to somebody about this recently and I I believe that that this is something the schools are gonna need to do they get really need to get creative because there or kids that we will not be able to enter that school is no way to -- to -- -- -- -- -- -- -- their emotions -- shot.
Their minds -- now you know that they've been exposed to this.
It's not it's not be possible some schools you have to come up with some sort of a plan because we can't try to force these kids you know to go back to the school -- the -- -- witness a traumatic experience like this situation.
Like this off I think that sometimes they do a name change of the school sometimes they do an entire venue change because at the TT SD -- a lot of a better word brings up sixteen.
Still substantial -- -- this isn't just going to be like you know a lot lately traded up post traumatic stress this is going to be.
Long lasting deeply embedded and we have to make sure that we we eliminate the triggers or trigger.
Could be just that you know approaching them and seemed building itself from any of these kids they're not going to be able to -- that bill.
I'm sure the school officials or other school officials are already discussing measures.
On how to handle.
Last after trauma like this how long should kids -- off from school home again yet -- -- really answer to that how long -- should take off but we do I mean we've had hurricane sandy I'm lecture the school if they miss a lot of school days.
But again we need to written that -- the most important thing here I think -- in these coming together.
School should be secondary get them back when the time is right.
And you know and and focus more on on your family and being together and everybody healing.
Understood Tom person your school counselor.
A psychotherapist thanks so much for communicate -- -- had.