Friday, December 14, 2012

Sandyhook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut and how to deal with that

26 innocent children and 8 adults are  killed in an Elementary School  in Connecticut - how do I deal with a news like that,  faraway in California, yet so close?

There is so much to do today, but as I open the television this morning I am horrified with this national tragic news.  I am stunned and stocked.

There  should be Christmas in the air and I am scheduled to deck the halls and decorate my house for the holidays according to my" to do list".  But I find myself  all alone sitting here with tears rolling down my cheeks,  listening to the  horrible unfolding  stories of the shooting that took place this morning.

I hear the President brushing off tears speaking more as a father today than as  an official commander in chief.

Sandyhook school is a small Elementary school with only 600 children ( 5 - 10 years of age) in a quiet, peaceful neighborhood in Connecticut.  People know each other here in this quaint little rural town.

The killer( 24 year old Ryan )  is a person whose mother worked   as a kindergarten class teacher and he entered his mom's class with two hand guns and started shooting.  His mom is dead with 26 innocent children.  Not only that, the shooter died too

Where is the fallacy in this equation?  What's wrong?  What do we learn from this?  How can we prevent this in future?  And most importantly WHY????

 Psychiatrist Dr. Joshua Weiner is bombarded  with these questions too. How do we answer  to the child when he asks " WHY"?    How do we respond to his fears?

His answers in a nutshell:

* Children will take cues from the adults and parents.  So first deal with your own  emotions  and be comfortable and strong.  Seek support groups to talk and do something constructively.
Realize that it does not happen everyday. Most days everyone comes back home safely.  It is tragic and unfair, yet, try to see the whole picture and be positive.

At the end of the day reassure your child that s/he is safe and you'll do everything to keep her/him safe with an extra tight hug.

*Children may not be able to  articulate their emotions.  Help them with words, writing and art opportunities to express that emotion.

* Some children may not show it all now, but it will come out in bits and  pieces over a period of time in the near future.  Be prepared for that.  This may come as extra clinging, moodiness, eating fusses, even bed wetting.  Be supportive and understanding.  It is possible that this may  manifest over the next two weeks.  After that if the problem remains,  he suggested to seek professional help.

* Most children will be resilient and take it as a bad dream  or bad scene from a movie and recover.

Statistically  speaking, 85% of the population will be able to cope with it, 15% will have hard time he concluded.

Where am I in this curve?  Am I in the 15% or in the 85% lot?  How do I respond to this tragedy?  How can I accept the fact that those 26 children will have no Christmas this year or birthdays, or graduation ceremonies, no weddings, no children of their own...  and I go on with my life?

I stare at my TO DO list  again.  It says:

* make the jewelry gift for....
* shopping for the goody...
* take out Christmas box and decorate the ...

But I feel numb.  This hour is not for any of those.

So,  I pick up my pen and let it weep.Weep  for those innocent victims and  their families and pray.

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