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Strategies for Dealing with Kids Fears of Disturbing Events

Omaha, Neb. - Boys Town releases advice for parents on helping children deal with the fear caused by the recent disturbing video or pictures, like the gunman in Omaha. The national childcare organization started over 100 years ago, counsels’ families and schools across the country, on best parenting, coping and discipline and offers the following for parents:

  1. Everyone – including kids – is hard-wired to recover from crisis events and has “built-in” coping mechanisms.
  2. It is normal for kids to feel upset, sad, confused or afraid after seeing or hearing something bad happening; let your child know it’s okay to have these feelings.
  3. Always be available to talk and listen to your child, but don’t force children to talk about their feelings.
  4. Parents, friends and teachers are the best sources of support, caring and understanding.
  5. Kids continuing to take part in their normal activities promotes coping and healing.
  6. Give kids time and space to sort through their feelings.
  7. Monitor kids and stay vigilant as the healing process continues, even months after the event.

“Through all of this, parents should be vigilant and watchful, keeping their eyes and ears open for signals of deeper problems,” says Dr. Tom Reimers, Director of Boys Town Behavioral Health Clinic. “These might include changes in eating or sleeping habits or not being able to return to normal activities. If parents notice these or other red flags continuing two weeks or longer after the event, they should seek professional help.”

You can find more information on the subject at The Boys Town National Hotline also offers free advice to parents and kids 24/7. Call 1-800-448-3000. If you would like to speak to Dr. Reimers about this topic more, please call or email me.

About Boys Town

Nationally, Boys Town has been a beacon of hope for America’s children and families through its lifechanging youth care and health care programs for more than 100 years. In 2022, Boys Town’s Integrated Continuum of youth care and health care programs impacted more than 500,000 children and families across America. This includes those who received services from Boys Town’s residential programs as well as those served by the many varied programs that comprise the Boys Town Integrated Continuum of Child and Family Services, including In-Home Family Services, health care services provided by Boys Town National Research Hospital and the Boys Town National Hotline.

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