Weatherford Democrat

Aledo ExtrA

April 22, 2013

Aledo counselor offers advice to help children cope with tragedy

By JUDY SHERIDAN

Repeated media images of disasters and their aftermath — like the devastating explosions this week at the Boston Marathon and the fertilizer plant in West, Texas — can be very upsetting to children, according to Aledo licensed professional counselor David Hunter.

“We may look at what’s happening and say, ‘What the heck,’” he said, “but with them it’s what the heck to the 10th power.”   

“I encourage parents to limit children’s exposure to too much information. I wouldn’t try to keep it from them totally — they have access to so many devices — just don’t leave the television on all the time.”

Hunter said children worry about their parents’ safety as well as their own.

“They respond to tragedy in a wide variety of ways,” he said. “They may try to joke about it — that’s OK.”

A weekly family talk about home safety plans, including how to contact one another in an emergency, can be helpful, Hunter said, as can assuring children that the school they attend is concerned about their safety.

“I had a client with a teenage daughter who didn’t want to go to school after Newtown,” he said. “We were able to go to the school website where the superintendent of schools was telling them, ‘Here are the ways we’re going to protect you.’”

If a worrisome rumor surfaces at school, he said — like a threat to shoot someone — kids should be taught to report it, so authorities can deal with the source.

Hearing the voice of a distant loved one may also be of benefit, Hunter said.

“They may want to call a grandmother or favorite uncle from out-of-state,” he said. “They’ve just learned that something has happened that’s out of their control, and it may help to be assured that person’s OK.”

Finally, Hunter said, parents should talk about the incident, admitting they don’t know all the answers and don’t understand why it happened.

“Don’t deny it, and be as truthful as you can,” he advised.

“Let them express themselves in ways they feel comfortable. Doing physical things — like taking a walk — might help them to cut loose. They might also want to write or draw while they talk.”

1
Text Only
Aledo ExtrA
  • Developer withdraws site plan

    ANNETTA —A controversial 34-home subdivision proposed for a 41-acre tract on Duncan Road will not go forward as planned, according to action taken by both the proposed developer and the Annetta Town Council after a public hearing Thursday night.

    July 22, 2014

  • Aledo City Council to meet July 24

    The Aledo City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 24, in the Aledo Community Center, 104 Robinson Court, Aledo.

    July 22, 2014

  • oak leaf ladder shot.jpg Fires damage business, home

    Two separate fires around 2 p.m. July 15 damaged a Willow Park business and destroyed the home of a Weatherford family.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Letter to the Editor

    Dear Editor,
     Thursday night, July 17, I was present for a surprisingly interesting experience when State Representative candidate Matthew Britt addressed a small group of supporters, followed by a question and answer session.

    July 22, 2014

  • ESD 1, Annetta South close on fire station site

    Parker County Emergency Services District No. 1 and Annetta South officials said Tuesday that the ESD is homing in on a site for a new fire station to serve residents in the Annettas and surrounding areas. Annetta South is expected to consider a zoning change to accommodate a new station next month.

    July 22, 2014

  • Registration has begun for Aledo ISD

    Aledo ISD enrollment for the 2014-15 school year began yesterday, July 21, and students new to the district need to register before school begins, Monday, Aug. 25.

    July 22, 2014

  • County scrambling to fill elections post

    Former Parker County Assistant Elections Administrator Laura Watkins, who sought, but was not appointed to the post of Parker County Elections Administrator after Robert Parten retired, last week began work as assistant elections administrator for Palo Pinto County, Palo Pinto County Elections Administrator Judith Evans has confirmed.

    July 22, 2014

  • Willow Park tackles 11-street project

    The Willow Park City Council last week picked a list of 11 streets they’d like repaired as part of the city’s next road repair project, a significant portion of the 17-road, $850,000 list of needed repairs.

    July 22, 2014

  • Teens arrested for throwing rocks on interstate

    Two 14-year-old boys are facing charges after reportedly throwing rocks at passing vehicles on Interstate 20 Tuesday afternoon, damaging trucks and injuring a woman.

    July 21, 2014

  • Parker County Calendar of Events

    July 25
    Painting with a Twist/Painting with a Purpose

    • ​Looking for a fun night out? The Parker Paws Painting with a Purpose fundraiser will be held from 7-9 p.m.
     

    July 21, 2014

Must Read
House Ads
Top News
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment