It just seems that the news cycle is dominated by tragedy and grief. Just yesterday, I posted on overcoming tragedy and loss. The shooting at a Quebec Mosque by Alexandre Bissonnette today highlights this. In stressful times, be it national, local or international, it is important for families and communities to work together to foster supportive relationships. As caring adults, we need to help children and youth navigate their emotional reactions to these incidents. Tragic incidents can alter a person’s sense of security thus the importance of offering reassurance to children and youth.
Dr. Elizabeth Paquette, Chief Psychologist at the Ottawa Catholic School Board recommends the following strategies to assist with helping children and youth feel safe.
Be reassuring. Children take their emotional cues from the significant adults in their lives. Your reactions are most important. Recognize that some children may be concerned about something bad happening to themselves, family or friends. Explain to them the safety measures in place and reassure them that you and other adults will take care of them.