My heart goes out to all of the families, victims, and anyone involved directly or indirectly with the tragedy that happened today in Connecticut. There is always conflicting information regarding why people engage in school violence. I find some of the best answer(s) stem(s) from two books by James Garbarino, Ph.D. Reading his books during graduate school inspired my research on school aggression. Two books I highly recommend include: “Lost Boys: Why Our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them” Free Press – 1999 and “See Jane Hit: Why Girls Are Growing More Violent and What We Can Do About It” The Penguin Press – 2006. 

In terms of resources for parents and families, I have provided a list below that was compiled by a number of organizations:

Disaster Distress Helpline: http://www.disasterdistress.samhsa.gov/

Helping your children manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/aftermath.aspx

Managing your distress in the aftermath of a shooting: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/mass-shooting.aspx

Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event: A GUIDE FOR PARENTS, CAREGIVERS, AND TEACHERS — http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content/SMA12-4732/SMA12-4732.pdf

Listen, Protect, Connect – Model and TeachPsychological First Aid for Teacher and Students http://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/PFA_SchoolCrisis.pdf

General tips from National Association of School Psychologists: http://www.nasponline.org/communications/press-release/Sandy_Hook_Media_Statement.pdf

Be well and help yourself and your children by stepping back and assessing how you feel rather than avoiding what may be a traumatic experience for you.

Namaste,

Dr. Stephanie

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