Research: Our hearts go out to those affected by the attacks on Paris last weekend. These are scary moments that bring up many questions for adults and children alike. Time magazine published a great article this week that compiled various expert opinions on how to talk to kids of all ages about the attacks. What matters most is that kids know it’s okay to feel afraid or sad in these moments, that we all express these emotions in different ways, and that we are available for them if they want to talk about it. It’s important that they express their worries and concerns. At the same time, it’s important to maintain routines and reassure them that these events are unusual.
Practice: Some students are engaging their teachers in conversations about these events, others are not. We take each student’s age, level of anxiety and sensitivity into account when confronting these issues. We will be available for kids to talk if they need to, without requiring that everyone do so.