All of us at the Rye Youth Council are deeply saddened by the unfathomable and horrific high school shooting that occurred yesterday in Parkland, Florida.
When a tragic event like this happens, our first instinct as parents, caregivers, and community members usually is to find the best way to help our children. We want to help them manage their feelings and make sense of a senseless act. Seeking out expert advice, therapeutic suggestions, or help from others to provide comfort and guidance is a natural instinct.
Yet, before we can support our children and utilize these valuable resources, we as parents and caregivers can benefit from taking time to acknowledge our own feelings of sadness, concern or overwhelm. News of yet another school shooting can create real fear and anxiety. Talking with a spouse, a trusted relative, friend, or other parents is a great place to start. Taking time out to express your own feelings and take care of yourself first will likely help you collect your thoughts and make you more capable of helping your child.
With that in mind, the Rye Youth Council is here for the Rye community, parents and youth. Our office is open to anyone who would like to come in to talk with our youth educator, Jessica Lodato, or for resources on how to talk with and provide comfort to children. We also are attaching here the comprehensive list of Rye City School District resources, recently sent by Superintendent Dr. Eric Byrne, which are available to any parent or student in the school district who is in need of support.
In talking with children, we suggest:
Additional resources of trusted information on how to talk with your children:
Child Mind Institute
Mental Health America - Talking to Kids About School Safety
NBC News: Helping Your Kids Feel Safe When the World Feels Out of Control