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Helping Children Cope with a Tragedy   Tags: school violence, stress in children, trauma, traumatic events  

Here parents, caregivers, and others will find resources to help children cope with violence, grief, and tragic events.
Last Updated: Jun 30, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Helping Children Cope with a Tragedy

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Books in the Catalog

Cover Art
I dreamt-- : a book about hope - Olmos, Gabriela
ISBN: 9781554983308
Publication Date: 2013
Children whose daily lives are afflicted by violence dream of a different world in this powerful book. Some of Mexico’s best illustrators have donated their art to create this book, which gives children a way to talk about their fears, a reason to hope and the inspiration to resist falling into grief and depression. Like some city trees they have the possibility to grow strong and, despite everything, to try and make the world a better place.

Cover Art
"Why did it happen?" : helping children cope in a violent world - Cohn, Janice
ISBN: 0688123120
This book is meant to be read and discussed with children after a violent event has occurred or when children are simply grappling with the implications of living in a violent world.

Cover Art
A terrible thing happened - Holmes, Margaret M.
ISBN: 1557986428
This gently told and tenderly illustrated story is for children who have witnessed any kind of violent or traumatic episode.

Cover Art
When I feel scared - Spelman, Cornelia
ISBN: 0807588903
Children often feel afraid. This book, with its comforting words and illustrations, will help children address those fears and learn some new ways to cope with being afraid.

Cover Art
Tell me something happy before I go to sleep - Dunbar, Joyce
ISBN: 015201795X
In this endearing bedtime story, Willa's big brother helps her get to sleep by reminding her about all of the happy things around her. Willa is afraid of bad dreams. "Think of something happy," suggests her big brother, Willoughby. But Willa needs his help. So together they think of all the happy things that await her in the morning.

Cover Art
You hold me and I'll hold you - Carson, Jo
ISBN: 0531058956
When a small girl hears her father's aunt has died and they must drive to Tennessee for the funeral, she worries about how different it will be from her backyard service for their hamster. It's so different in a church when relatives cry and a preacher is saying "all the stuff he's thought of". Death is enormous then, and that's when comfort ("You hold me", says Daddy, "and I'll hold you) is most precious.

Cover Art
Sometimes bad things happen - Jackson, Ellen B.
ISBN: 0761328106
Mentions some of the bad things that happen in the world and presents some positive ways to respond to them.

Cover Art
And God cried, too : a kid's book of healing and hope - Gellman, Marc
ISBN: 0060098864
Little Angel Mike is a guardian-angel-in-training. He doesn't understand how God can let bad things happen in the world. Whether it's the tragic events of September 11, 2001, or the loss of a beloved pet, shouldn't God be able to stop the bad things? Big Angel Gabe is a wise old angel, and it's his job to help answer Little Angel Mikey's tough questions and to guide him through the mystery of suffering and into a hopeful place. In a nonpreachy, accessible manner, the message of God's great compassion and our ability to bear even the greatest burdens is offered here with a gentle wisdom.

Cover Art
On that day : a book of hope for children - Patel, Andrea
ISBN: 1582461007
Sometimes bad things happen in the world. But there will always be good things in the world, too. You are one of those good things.With simple language and a heart-felt message, Andrea Patel addresses a timely and timeless question: What can you do when bad things happen?

Cover Art
The next place - Hanson, Warren
ISBN: 0931674328
An inspirational journey of light and hope to a place where earthly hurts are left behind.

Cover Art
The scared child : helping kids overcome traumatic events - Brooks, Barbara
ISBN: 0471082848
There are many traumatic experiences that cause a child to become scared--from divorce to the death of a loved one, from natural disasters to abuse. Even a disturbing news event that a child only sees on television or hears about but does not experience, such as the Oklahoma City bombing or the classroom massacre in Scotland, can make a child fearful or sad. No matter what causes the situation, childhood trauma is common and should be dealt with quickly and effectively.

Cover Art
Courage - Waber, Bernard
ISBN: 9780618238552
What is courage? Certainly it takes courage for a firefighter to rescue someone trapped in a burning building, but there are many other kinds of courage too. Everyday kinds that normal, ordinary people exhibit all the time, like “being the first to make up after an argument,” or “going to bed without a nightlight.” Bernard Waber explores the many varied kinds of courage and celebrates the moments, big and small, that bring out the hero in each of us.

The ant hill disaster - Cook, Julia
ISBN: 9781937870270
The Ant Hill Disaster thoughtfully addresses fears associated with both natural and man-caused disasters. It models effective parenting and teaching responses. This book can help assure children that through love, empathetic understanding, preparation, and effective communication, they can stand strong, even in the midst of uncontrollable events.

Cover Art
This place I know : poems of comfort - Heard, Georgia
ISBN: 0763628751
In September 2001, New York poetry anthologist Georgia Heard was asked to compile a collection of "poems of comfort" for schoolchildren in lower Manhattan. Soon afterward, Candlewick Press approached a number of well-known illustrators to ask if they'd like to contribute to the project. Within weeks, eighteen artists had volunteered their talents to illustrate one poem each.
The result was this timeless volume of life-affirming poetry. Now reformatted with an elegant new cover, this collection is as diverse as it is powerful, as beautiful as it is full of heart. From Emily Dickinson's " 'Hope' is the thing with feathers" to Langston Hughes's "Dreams," from Walt Whitman to Georgia Heard herself, here is an outstanding selection of poets and poems, matched by a stellar array of artists and art.

Guide Table of Contents


  • Traumatic Grief in Military Children
    Information for families from the National Child Traumatic Stress Center.
  • Fred Rogers talks about Tragic Events in the News
    "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of "disaster," I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world."-Fred Rogers
  • Caring for Kids After Trauma and Death:
    Report from The Institute for Trauma and Stress at The NYU Child Study Center.
  • Helping children and adults cope with events like the Newtown school shootings
    From the Connecticut Commission on Children. As the scope of what happened in Newtown became clear, it also became clear that families throughout Connecticut would have to deal with unprecedented shock and horror over the crime. That's why the Commission has prepared this resource center. Here, you'll find expert advice and information that can help children and adults alike.
  • My Time Book
    It is especially critical to comfort young children with positive thoughts about the present and future of their lives. Children can’t understand tragedy the way adults do and they need to be reminded of the things that can make them feel safe and happy.
    Scholastic My Time was created to give children their own space where they can turn to activities that are both enjoyable and healing. Providing children with books and opportunities to express their feelings through drawing, writing, playing and talking are effective ways to help them cope with stress and anxiety. The My Time
    Book allows children to illustrate their own book and reflect on the positive aspects of their lives. At the bottom of each page, there are important tips that will help you support the young children in your life.
  • Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters: What Parents Can Do
    From The National Institute of Mental Health, a booklet that describes what parents can do to help children and adolescents cope with violence and disasters.
  • School Violence and the News
    From KidsHealth. It's natural for kids and teens to worry about whether something like what happened in Connecticut may someday happen to them. How can you help them deal with these fears? Talking with kids about these tragedies, and what they watch or hear about them, can put frightening information into context.
  • Catastrophic Mass Violence Resources
    From the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, talking to children about the shooting.
  • A National Tragedy: Helping Children Cope
    From the National Association of School Psychologists, tips for parents and teachers. Whenever a national tragedy occurs, such as terrorist attacks or natural disasters, children, like many people, may be confused or frightened. Most likely they will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and school personnel can help children cope first and foremost by establishing a sense of safety and security. As more information becomes available, adults can continue to help children work through their emotions and perhaps even use the process as a learning experience.
  • Talking with Children about War and Violence in the World
    Explores some of the questions that parents and teachers ask most frequently—in particular about ways to have discussions about events such as war, terrorism, and military involvement in distant lands.
  • Tragedy And Children: What To Discuss
    NPR podcast. The shooting in Newtown, Conn. is likely to have an impact on many children, even those nowhere near the state. Host Guy Raz is joined by NPR's Jon Hamilton to talk about how parents, teachers, and others who spend time with kids should prepare to discuss the event.
  • Talking with children about tragic events
    From The Dougy Center, The National Center for Grieving Children & Families.
  • If you do good, you'll feel good
    Ann Curry explains origins of #26Acts of Kindness.

#26 Acts of Kindness. Are You In?


Coping with the Newtown Tragedy

In response to the school shootings in Newtown, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) joined Yale Child Study Center director Fred Volkmar and Steven Marans of the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence on Monday for a press conference to discuss common reactions and how parents can process their own feelings and help their children cope with the tragedy.


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