I was in the middle of writing a post about Seattle sunshine, beautiful fabric and how blessed I am to spend time with wonderful people in this community when I heard the tragic news East.
Truthfully, I have no words. I just know that I cuddled closer on the couch with Roan last night thinking of those that could never do the same with a loved one. He was covered in kisses and tears by the time we hit the sack.
Seattle school district was swift in responding to the needs of students, parents and staff. I know there are a lot of moms out there that read this blog and if you find yourself lost for words with your own children (or yourself) you might find this article they passed on useful.
Our superintendent Jose Banda sent out this note with tips which I cut, so it is not the whole letter:
“It is a struggle for adults and children alike to try to comprehend why and how such a senseless and shocking incident could occur. Excessive and repeated media viewing can create increased anxiety and therefore limiting ongoing exposure is recommended. We are coordinating with schools and school guidance counselors to provide emotional support for students next week. Additionally, talking about the incident can be a healthy way for families to process their feelings and reactions to an event of this nature.”
How to help children cope:
- Listen to and accept children’s feelings.
- Give honest, simple, brief answers to their questions.
- Make sure they understand your answers and the meaning you intend.
- Use words or phrases that won’t confuse a child or make the world more frightening.
- Create opportunities for children to talk with each other about what happened and how they are feeling.
- Give your child an honest explanation. If you are feeling so upset you don’t want to talk about what happened. You may want to take “time out” and ask a trusted family friend to help.
- If children keep asking the same question over and over again it is because they are trying to understand; trying to make sense out of the disruption and confusion in their world. Younger children will not understand that death is permanent, so their repeated inquiries are because they expect everything to return to normal.
- If the child feels guilty, ask him or her to explain what happened. Listen carefully to whether he or she attaches a sense of responsibility to some part of the description. Explain the facts of the situation and emphasize that no one, least of all the child, could have prevented it.
- Let the school help. The child’s teacher can be sensitive to changes in the child’s behavior and will be able to respond in a helpful way.
- Even if you feel the world is an unsafe place, you can reassure your child by saying, “The event is over. Now we’ll do everything possible to stay safe, and together we can help get things back to normal.”
- Notice when children have questions and want to talk.
- Be especially loving and supportive; children need you at this time.”
I, like the rest of the nation am in shock and find my heart and thoughts wondering to the families and responders of this tragedy. It is easy to let a dark cloud form.
The whole thing had me thinking that I was going to call it quits on the blog until the New Year and just focus entirely on family and nothing else, but today our Guild has their holiday sew-in, there are snuggles to be had and gifts to be sewn, fabric to fondle…and all these things bring me JOY. The exact thing that this individual wanted to take from us.
This season I’ll be thinking a bit more about PEACE, and how we can all work together with our children to spread it and teach it.
I hope everyone finds time this weekend for their families and spend some time doing what they love. I’m on my way out of here to go sew all day and to find some of that Joy.