Like many others across the country and world, we were left speechless by the horrific events at Sandy Hook Elementary School. We turned to Jill Mays, an occupational therapist who specializes in play therapy, for advice on how to move forward. Here's what she has to say:
As the enormity of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn. sets in, parents search for ways to help their children in a seemingly hostile world. Many sites help guide parents on what to say and how to address the crisis, based on the child’s age and comprehension of the situation. These are extremely important to review and have at the ready if and when your child is ready to talk.
Whether or not you’ve had “the talk,” know your child needs more at this critical time to feel loved, safe, and secure.
Despite our compelling need for more information regarding the crisis, this is the time to put down the electronics. Put on a pair of jeans and get down on the floor to play with your child. Bring out the favorite stuffed toys or action figures, the building blocks, trucks, and ponies. Children feel safe expressing their feelings when they pretend with toys.
Here are some tips on how to proceed:
After all the horseplay, curl up with a favorite book and hold each other tight. Big hugs help the most.