OMAHA, Neb. – Boys Town this week released advice for parents to help children deal with Monday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon.
1. Kids, along with everyone else, are hard-wired to recover from crisis events and have “built-in” coping mechanisms.
2. It is normal for children to feel upset, sad, confused or afraid after something bad happens; let them know it’s all right to have these feelings.
3. Always be available to talk and listen to a 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. Get kids back to their normal activities as soon as possible. This promotes coping and healing.
6. Give children 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,” said Daniel Daly, Boys Town youth care director. “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.”