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.”
By JUDY SHERIDAN
- Aledo ExtrA
Water park burglar sought
Hudson Oaks police are requesting the public’s assistance in catching a burglar who broke into Splash Kingdom Water Park in Hudson Oaks earlier this month.
Commissioner at odds with school district's demand for land
Aledo ISD superintendent Derek Citty is moving forward with plans backed by the school board in May — plans to secure two school sites in the Morningstar subdivision, slated for the corner of Old Weatherford Road and FM Road 3225 in the City of Fort Worth’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.
An unforgettable state championship
Corey Kiser and Riley Sartain, members of Aledo High School’s state champion softball team, honored by trustees last week, are to blame for the 10-3 tattoo on the finger of their coach, Jeff Lemons.
Firefighter arrested for child sexual assault
A volunteer Hudson Oaks firefighter is in the Parker County Jail on charges he repeatedly sexually assaulted two young relatives over a several year period.
Richard Frederick Adams Sr., 62, arrested July 21, faces two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, a first-degree felony.
Fire protection improving in Aledo
Stephen Watson, interim chief of Emergency Services District No. 1, briefed the Aledo City Council on improvements to the city’s fire protection — including the purchase of a site for a new fire station — in Thursday night’s Aledo City Council session.
Aledo ISD trustees affirm hiring policy
The Aledo ISD School Board affirmed a policy delegating the hiring of most school personnel to the administration by a 4-1 margin last week, with trustees Jay Stringer, David Tillman, Hoyt Harris and Steve Bartley voting in favor and trustee Bobby Rigues arguing that the board should retain the responsibility.
Aledo coffee shop helps support the troops
HUDSON OAKS — Wild West Splash Kingdom was the host of military members and military supporters the night of Saturday, July 19, during ‘Salute the Troops,’ sponsored by Holy Grounds Coffee and Gifts in Aledo and Ducerus College Planning.
Calendar of events
Holy Grounds Coffee & Gifts, at 108 Jearl Street, is hosting a series of outdoor movies in their parking lot at 8:30 p.m. on Saturdays through Aug. 23.
Admission is free and feature drinks are half price during the films. “The Amazing Spiderman” is Aug. 2, followed by “Tangled” on Aug. 9, “The Lego Movie” on Aug. 16 and “The Avengers” on Aug. 23.
For more information, call 817-440-7770.
A Purple Heart County
County Judge Mark Riley and Parker County commissioners proclaimed Parker County to be a “Purple Heart County” Monday, honoring local veterans and their families in a special ceremony held in the second floor courtroom of the historic courthouse.
Suspicious house fire under investigation
The Weatherford fire marshal says a fire that damaged a house and killed two puppies Wednesday night is being investigated as a suspicious fire and a suspect is in jail on unrelated charges.
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