5 Tips to Help Children Handle Tragic News

Raising Children: Love, Limits & Lessons

20 Little Christmas Angels from Newtown, CT Were Welcomed into Heaven

If you are looking for a place to be alone with your sorrow, Williamsburg Angel Park welcomes you (tucked behind the Williamsburg Grange off of Route 9). It is a central place that can be use to gather with a small group or to spend time alone. There are benches and a flat stone wall for sitting too. Thank you to Donna Baldwin for this suggestion. – To find out about other gathering opportunities for parents/adults to share in this loss, check out this post on Hilltown Families Facebook Page for announcements. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Tragedy happens all around us, but when it involves innocent children there are few words that can express the pain any caring person feels. This week, a shooter took the lives of 20 innocent school children including several teachers and staff members at a small town school in Connecticut. That means Heaven accepted 20 new little angels this morning. If your own children haven’t heard about it, they most likely will. Here are some tips on how to help your children handle the news of this unthinkable tragedy.

  1. First and foremost it’s important that you settle any fears your children may have. They are torn between the worlds of fantasy and reality, so it may be very difficult for them to tell the difference between what is real and what isn’t. Make every effort to listen to them carefully and with 100% of your attention. It is important that you help them feel safe and calm. Sometimes they may fear that what happened to the children at this school will happen to them.
  2. Minimize (if not eliminate) any news coverage or discussion about the tragedy. The less they hear about it the better it will be for them. Refrain from having the news on when they are present at home or in the car while you’re driving. Too much exposure will overwhelm them and generate more fearful feelings that it could come to their school.
  3. Allow yourself to grieve privately. Your children look to you and your feelings as a guide on how they should feel. If you are feeling sad about this event and they notice, your children will feel sadder. Allow yourself to grieve in private, away from your children. Allow a friend or family member to stay with your children while you find the time to be alone to let your feelings out about this tragedy. Avoid keeping it all bottled up inside.
  4. Take measures to pull your family closer together over the next few days. Cancel less important activities and create family time to help your child feel more loved. Take measures to feel gratitude that this did not happen to your family and hold and love your children a little more than usual. It will help to further settle your child’s fears and help you deal with the sadness we are all feeling about this tragic event.
  5. Finally, use this occurrence to be sure that you are taking all possible measures to ensure your child’s safety where ever she goes. It is doubtful that the families who lost children in this massacre could have done anything different to avoid what happened. But tragedies come in all forms so take a closer look at all possible risks that could affect your child’s safety and well being.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bill Corbett

Bill is the author of the award-winning parenting book series, Love, Limits, & Lessons: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Cooperative Kids (in English and in Spanish) and the executive producer and host of the public access television show Creating Cooperative Kids. He is a Western Mass native and grew up in the Northampton area. As a member of the American Psychological Association and the North American Society for Adlerian Psychology, Bill provides parent coaching and keynote presentations to parent and professional audiences across the country. He sits on the board of the Network Against Domestic Abuse, the Resource Advisory Committee for Attachment Parenting International, and the management team of the Springfield Parent Academy. Bill’s practical experience comes as a father of 3 grown children, a grandfather of two, and a stepdad to three, and resides in the area with his loving wife Elizabeth and teen step daughter Olivia.  You can learn more about Bill and his work at www.CooperativeKids.com.

Online and Local Resources Following Newtown Tragedy

Candlelight vigils are being held in several towns around Western MA tonight, including Amherst, Agawam, and Cummington.

Our hearts go out to the families and community in Newtown, CT. Following Friday’s tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, parents might find themselves in need to gather, grieve and support one another and the families in CT. Share or find both online and local support shared by Hilltown Families readers via the Hilltown Families Facebook Page:

ONLINE RESOURCES

Wondering how to address this tragedy with your kids? Please find/share online resources HERE.

WESTERN MA RESOURCES

Hillary Bucs writes, “Can you post if you hear of any local candlelight vigils or public gatherings in which we can come together as parents to deal with the grief.” – Please share (and find out about) events/suggestions HERE.

100 Links (Spring/Summer 2011)

100 Links (Spring/Summer 2011)

Nearly every day we add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family, others, maybe not so much.  But it’s a fun and useful list worth perusing of online resource that are educational and entertaining!

Follow Me on DeliciousWhere are these links? Hilltown Families Del.ici.ous Page!  This icon can be found at the top of our site, in the left-hand column.  Click any time to see what links we’ve added!

Below is the latest 100 links we’ve shared: (you will need to use the “back” button to return to this page). All links are provided as a courtesy and not as an endorsement:

Read the rest of this entry »

100 Links (Winter/Spring 2011)

100 Links (Winter/Spring 2011)

Nearly every day we add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family, others, maybe not so much.  But it’s a fun and useful list worth perusing!  If you have a link you’d like to share, post it in our comment box below.

Where are these links? You won’t find them on your blog reader, nor via email if you subscribe to our newsfeed.  Sometime we share these links on the Hilltown Families Facebook page, with members of our listserv, or even Tweet about a few – but if you visit Hilltown Families on-line and scroll half way down, on the left you will find the column, “Links We Recommend.” There you’ll find our list of the most recent recommended links.

Archived Lists of 100 Links: If you’d like to peruse our list of 100 Links from months past, click HERE and then scroll down.

100 Links (Winter/Spring 2011): If you haven’t been visiting the site regularly to peruse these great resources, not to worry – below is the most recent 100 links we’ve shared: (you will need to use the “back” button to return to this page):

Read the rest of this entry »

100 Links (Fall 2010/Winter 2011)

100 Links (Fall 2010/Winter 2011)

Nearly every day we add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family, others, maybe not so much.  But it’s a fun and useful list worth perusing!  If you have a link you’d like to share, post it in our comment box below.

Where are these links? You won’t find them on your blog reader nor via email if you subscribe to our newsfeed.  Sometime we share these links on the Hilltown Families Facebook page, with members of our listserv, or even Tweet about a few – but if you visit Hilltown Families on-line and scroll half way down, on the left you will find the column, “Links We Recommend.” There you’ll find our list of the most recent recommended links.

Archived Lists of 100 Links: If you’d like to peruse our list of 100 Links from months past, click HERE and then scroll down.

100 Links (Fall 2010/Winter 2011): If you haven’t been visiting the site regularly to peruse these great resources, not to worry – below is the most recent 100 links we’ve shared: (you will need to use the “back” button to return to this page):

Read the rest of this entry »

100 Links (Summer/Fall 2010)

100 Links (Summer/Fall 2010)

Nearly every day we add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family, others, maybe not so much.  But it’s a fun and useful list worth perusing!  If you have a link you’d like to share, post it in our comment box below.

Where are these links? You won’t find them on your blog reader nor via email if you subscribe to our newsfeed.  Sometime we share these links on the Hilltown Families Facebook page, with members of our listserv, or even Tweet about a few – but if you visit Hilltown Families on-line and scroll half way down, on the left you will find the column, “Links We Recommend.” There you’ll find our bank of the most recent 25 recommended links.

Archived Lists of 100 Links: If you’d like to peruse our list of 100 Links from months past, click HERE and then scroll down.

100 Links (Summer/Fall 2010): If you haven’t been visiting the site regularly to peruse these great resources, not to worry – below is the most recent 100 links we’ve shared: (you will need to use the “back” button to return to this page):


  • One Hungry Mama Guide to Halloween
  • Daddy Issues: How Can I Keep My Daughter Loving Science? (article)
  • Science Experiments You Can Do At Home or School
  • Booklists for Teens (Boston Public Library)
  • AAASpell.com – Practice Your Spelling
  • The wisdom of teenagers (article)
  • Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, Energetic
  • Out in the Berkshires (LGBT Life in the Berkshires)
  • Day of the Dead: History, Facts, and Resources
  • Maths Teaching Ideas
  • Sidekicks: Graphic Novel Reviews for Kids
  • HauntedHappenings.org (Halloween in Salem, MA)
  • Banking Curriculum
  • Best Documentaries on Eating Green
  • Math Game: 100s Grid
  • Glow in the Woods (For Babylost Parents)
  • My Science Box
  • Ashfield Local Goods Catalog
  • Johnnie’s Math Page
  • RECOMMENDED DVD: Life in the Undergrowth w/ David Attenborough (Nature Science)
  • ArtsVivants/ArtsAlive
  • Kids Caving
  • Online Spelling Course
  • Virtual Skies
  • Smithsonian Education for Students
  • Read the rest of this entry »
  • 100 Links (February 2010/March 2010)

    100 Links (February 2010/March 2010)

    Nearly every day I add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family, others, maybe not so much.  But it’s a fun and useful list worth perusing!  If you have a link you’d like to share, post it in our comment box.

    Where are these links? You won’t find them on your blog reader nor via email if you subscribe to our newsfeed.  Sometime I share these links on the Hilltown Families Facebook page, with members of our listserv, or even Tweet about a few – but if you visit Hilltown Families on-line and scroll half way down, on the left you will find the column, “Links We Recommend.” There you’ll find our bank of the most recent 25 recommended links.

    Archived Lists of 100 Links: If you’d like to peruse our List of 100 Links from months past, click HERE and then scroll up or down.

    100 Links (February 2010/March 2010): If you haven’t been visiting the site regularly to peruse these great resources, not to worry – below is the last 100 links we’ve posted in the past two months: (you will need to use the “back” button to return to this page):

    Read the rest of this entry »

    100 Links (December 2009 / January 2010)

    100 Links (December 2009/January 2010)

    Nearly every day I add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family, others, maybe not so much.  But it’s a fun and useful list worth perusing!  If you have a link you’d like to share, post it in our comment box.

    Where are these links? You won’t find them on your blog reader nor via email if you subscribe to our newsfeed.  But if you visit the blog on-line and scroll half way down, on the left you will find the column, “Links We Recommend,” with a list of our most recent recommended links.  If you haven’t been visiting the site regularly to peruse these great resources, not to worry – below is the last 100 links we’ve posted in the past two months: (you will need to use the “back” button to return to this page).

    Archived Lists of 100 Links: If you’d like to peruse our List of 100 Links from months past, click HERE and then scroll up or down.

  • RECALL: Children’s necklace recalled due to high levels of cadmium
  • Homeschool Groups and Resources in Massachusetts
  • Cyberbullying Tips
  • Examples of Social Studies Flowchart Notes
  • Grey Matters: Explore the Mind
  • Connecticut Science Center (Downtown Hartford, CT)
  • Virtual Field Trip: Pistachio Grove
  • Learn with Math Games
  • Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement
  • Cool Cosmos
  • Thinking of getting a tutor? Ten questions you must ask
  • Homeschool Curriculum and Info
  • The Lego Dilemma: Do Lego’s instructions hamper kids’ creative play? (article)
  • MLK Birth Home Virtual Tour
  • 50 winter adventures in MA under $50 for a family of four
  • Eight Going on Eighteen: Our Daughter and Early Puberty (article)
  • Ban Poisonous Additives (BPA) Act of 2009
  • Descriptive Writing and the 100th Day of School
  • 100 Ways to Represent the Number 100 (Mathwire.com)
  • Celebrate the 100th Day of School! (Scholastic)
  • Celebrate the 100th Day In 100 Ways (Lesson Plan)
  • Teaching The Hudson Valley
  • Virtual Tours of Historic Cities
  • ClarKids (Clark Art Museum Page for Kids)
  • 100th Day of School Activities
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Lesson Plans
  • How Cheering Your Kids On Helps Them Stay Healthy (article)
  • UVA Virtual Lab (science)
  • Free tutoring under the No Child Left Behind Law (article)
  • Lee Youth Associatio (Lee, MA)
  • Interactive Educational Gaming Resources
  • What Kids Can Do: Focus on Smart Eating
  • Developing Science Vocabulary
  • The War on Kids (documentary film)
  • The Sociology of Breastfeeding (podcast)
  • US Geography: AwesomeAmerica.com
  • Pioneer Valley Red Cross
  • Hampshire County Cares
  • The Best Places Online To Learn About Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa
  • History of New Year’s Eve (video)
  • Educational Games and Activities for Kids (all ages)
  • World Geography Games
  • Liberty’s Kids (U.S. History, Videos)
  • Scoutsongs.com Virtual Songbook
  • LD OnLine
  • Earthquakes for Kids
  • The Massachusetts Public Flu Clinic Finder
  • 5 Money Saving Tips for the Holidays
  • Calendars Through The Ages
  • Maple-Syrup-and- Snow Candy
  • Read the rest of this entry »

    100 Links (April/May 2009)

    100 Links (April/May 2009)

    Nearly every day I add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family, others, maybe not so much.  But it’s a fun and useful list worth perusing!  If you have a link you’d like to share, post it in our comment box.

    Where are these links? You won’t find them on your blog reader nor via email if you subscribe to our newsfeed.  But if you visit the blog on-line and scroll half way down, on the left you will find the column, “Links We Recommend,” with a list of our most recent recommended links.  If you haven’t been visiting the site regularly to peruse these great resources, not to worry – below is the last 100 links we’ve posted in the past two months: (you will need to use the “back” button to return to this page).

    Archived Lists of 100 Links: If you’d like to peruse our List of 100 Links from months past, click HERE and then scroll up or down.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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