Connecticut School Shooting Trauma Prevention Parenting Tips
In light of the tragic events and national media coverage of the Connecticut school shooting, below are 20 parenting tips to help reduce your child’s chances of suffering a trauma response. Even if you have had little exposure to the “around the clock” coverage of this event, do not assume your child has been insulated as well. It is highly recommended to take an active role in monitoring your child and increase the time learning ways to ensure they have not been traumatized.
The tips listed apply to children from K-12 and should be amended accordingly based on their developmentally maturity. Most importantly, if you do determine that your child is experiencing a trauma response, do not feel embarrassed and seek professional help. Feel free to print or save this article by clicking on the green print button at the base of the article. You will not be required to sign up or provide any personal information to download.
1. Actively monitor and reduce your child’s access to all Information and Communications Technology (ICT) throughout the rest of 2012. Television, radio, smart phones and their PC are the primary ICT devices to monitor.
2. When permitting your child to access ICT, discourage them from viewing, listening or reading coverage of the Connecticut school shooting.
3. Contact your child’s school and inquire about what plans have been made to assist students process the Connecticut tragedy.
4. Contact your child’s school and offer your time to school officials in their plans to address the Connecticut tragedy with their students.
5. Spend some time researching a child psychologist or certified social worker to contact if your child experiences a trauma response due to the Connecticut tragedy.
6. If your child has been in counseling within the last 12 months for any reason, set up an appointment with the practitioner to rule out a trauma response.
7. If your child presently participates in counseling, religious instructions or any other form of trained adult moderated services, make sure the Connecticut tragedy is being addressed.
8. Seek professional help if your child experiences any of the following signs and symptoms:
a. Your child has trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, early morning awaking or nightmares.
b. Your child has difficulty paying attention to scholastic responsibilities. .
c. Your child has difficulty getting along with family or friends or becoming less social.
d. Your child has an increase or decrease in their appetite.
e. Your child has sudden angry outbursts and other emotional episodes.
f. Your child avoids of people, places and things that remind them of the Connecticut tragedy.
g. Your child appears nervous, worried or startled easily.
h. Your child appears sad, depressed or hopeless.
i. There is an increase in behavioral problems at school or drop in grades.
j. Your child exhibits a reduction in holiday activities participation.
k. There is a decrease in time spent with friends and loved ones.
9. Based on your child’s age and developmental maturity, actively engage them in discussions on the Connecticut tragedy.
10. Based on your child’s age and developmental maturity, spend time with them engaging in artistic activities.
11. Just because your child does not exhibit an overt trauma response, do not assume they have not been affected. 100% of school-aged children who go to school, communicate with friends and use ICT are aware of the Connecticut tragedy.
12. Regularly encourage your child to speak with you, loved ones and teachers if they feel unsafe due to the Connecticut tragedy.
13. Encourage your child to tell you, loved ones and teachers if friends or schoolmates are using the Connecticut tragedy as a bullying/cyberbullying tactic to scare other children.
14. Discourage your child from spending time, even in jest, tweeting or posting information in their Facebook or social media profiles supporting the actions of the Connecticut shooter.
15. Discourage your child from communicating with online strangers who engage them in conversations about the Connecticut tragedy. (applies to all online strangers on any topic year round).
16. Seek professional help if you observe your child engaging in high-risk online behaviors.
17. Instruct your child to immediately inform you if an online friend threatens harm referencing the Connecticut tragedy.
18. Increase your usage of the words “Safe, Secure & Protected” in conversations with your child.
19. Increase monitoring of your child’s daily schedule and structure their free time in positive and/or charitable ways throughout the rest of 2012.
20. Given you are the child’s primary caregiver, be mindful of your own trauma response and actively speak with loved ones and/or a professional if your child is verbalizing their concern for you.
Note to Parents: Without going into this writer’s theory of technological predators and high- risk online activities, it is important to note what he calls ODDOR or Online Distress Dictates Online Response. Relevant to your child, it is important to consider they may become less focused on Internet safety and more apt to engage in high-risk online activities if they are discouraged, depressed or distressed. If your child does experience a trauma response, they may become less cautious in cyberspace without their knowledge. Whether your child exhibits a trauma response or not, be assumptive and discuss the importance of never responding to online strangers and never disclose personal information about their identity or geographic location.
About iPredator Inc.:
Dr. Michael Nuccitelli is a New York State licensed psychologist and certified forensic consultant. Recognized by the American College of Forensic Examiners, Dr. Nuccitelli is the author of a new Technological Predator construct called iPredator. Under his theory, cyberbullies, cybercriminals and the severely disturbed are just a few of the typologies included that victimize others in cyberspace. Also included in his theory is how our Information Age society has drastically changed, becoming more isolated and disconnected leading to a paradigm shift in violence, crime and deviance.
iPredator Inc.’s goal is to reduce victimization, theft and disparagement from ICT assailants. Dr. Nuccitelli is honored to have Robert O’Block, founder of the American College of Forensic Examiners International to publically voice his organization’s support. In June 2012, Dr. Nuccitelli & iPredator Inc. launched their Internet Safety Education & Technological Predator Investigation website offering site visitors an enormous amount of free information.
- Facebook: The iPredator
- Google +: The iPredator
- Linked In: iPredator
- Twitter: TheiPredator
- YouTube: iPredator Team
Michael Nuccitelli Psy.D., C.F.C.
NYS Licensed Psychologist
Ph: (347) 871-2416
GOD BLESS THE FAMILIES OF THE CONNECTICUT SCHOOL SHOOTING!
by Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D.