All of us at Kids 'n Kinship are deeply saddened by the events of the shooting in Newtown, CT, last Friday. To see so many young lives cut short along with their teachers' seems so horribly wrong. When tragedies like this occur, it’s easy to focus on the negative aspects: grieving the many who have died, being afraid of copycat shooters, feeling horrified that anyone would be this heedlessly destructive of human life (especially children’s!).
However, there are also stories of heroism and compassion surrounding events like this. News is surfacing of the teachers who were heroes that day. Consider 27-year-old Victoria Soto, who urged the children in her classroom to hide in closets and cabinets, saving their lives, though losing her own. Consider the many who have responded with compassion by sending cards to the school, wearing the Sandy Hook Elementary school colors in honor of the those who died, and more.
While there has been, and no doubt will continue to be, much debate about gun control and mental health issues in the wake of this tragedy all in an effort to prevent others, I encourage you to focus on the more positive aspect of doing something (whether through a formal program or informally) to strengthen and support youth. Today's children and youth need the guidance of adults to wade through these difficult times. We all need to do our part to teach children empathy and kindness, values, and how to cope when their emotions and circumstances seem out of control.
You don't have to have the answers to questions that arise from this tragedy, kids just need people to talk to, people to support them through this, people to teach them other ways to deal with our challenging world. Be a friend to child.
Here’s an article with some tips on how caring adults can help children in the wake of the shooting:
For more information on Kids 'n Kinship, go to our website: www.kidsnkinship.org
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