Tips for Talking About Violence

  • Recent events have demonstrated that many, in our society, are quick to resort to violence in order to solve political disputes.  Additionally, high profile acts of violence, particularly in schools, can confuse and frighten children who may feel in danger or worry that their friends or loved-ones are at risk.  This can leave children and adolescents feeling vulnerable and threatened, regardless of how close the individual is to the actual violent event

    It's normal to expect a variety of reactions to violence and, particularly with adolescents, a variety of opinions about the causes of violence.  For parents and teachers, it is important to reassure students that they are safe, that schools are safe, to give them space to talk, and to observe them for nonverbal signs of emotional distress (such as changes in behavior, appetite, or sleep, or increased irritability, which can indicate a child’s level of anxiety or discomfort).  It's also normal for there to be a delayed reaction, particularly if violent events occur across a period of weeks or months.

    Highland's school psychologists have collected some resources for parents and teachers, and are also available to consult with any concerned parent or teacher about how best to ensure students' physical, and psychological, safety in school.  

NASP Talking with Children About Violence
NASP Talking with Children About Violence_Espanol