Calm In Troubling Times
These are troubling
times for all of us. We cannot open the newspaper or turn on the
television without hearing that we are in the midst of war and
at the same time that we are on alert for acts of terrorism. The
traumatic events of September 11, 2001 are still vivid in all
of our memories, including the memories of our children. What
can we do for our children and for ourselves to keep calm and
regain feelings of security?
It seems the best
thing we can do to feel safe is to plan for the worst and make
plans on how to deal with a crisis should it occur. In our district
we are again going over our emergency management plans, making
sure that each individual knows what are his or her specific responsibilities.
We are stocking up on supplies we might need should we have to
keep the students and staff in the schools for an extended period
of time, and we are doing all of this with the hope that all of
our preparations will go unused.
Whether or not
children are asking questions, it is certain that they are concerned
about the talk they hear all around them. I suggest you try to
be keenly aware of who is in the room when you watch the news
and when you express your own fears and worries. Remarks made
tongue-in-cheek or in a dark humor meant to defuse feelings of
tension may be taken quite literally by young children and give
them further reasons for anxiety.
This is also the
time to have a discussion about the media with your children.
Explain that it is typical of the news business that stories are
repeated over and over and that news is sensationalized for the
purpose of grabbing your attention and holding it. Point out to
them that at times when we get a snowflake or two, the weather
service reports it as if we will be experiencing a full-blown
blizzard. Itís simply exaggeration and overplay to get you to
keep watching for further news.
Still, we cannot
completely deny that there is a need for added attention to safety.
Make sure your children know how to reach you when you are out,
and that they keep you informed on their plans when going out
to a friendís house or elsewhere. Identify also for them some
other family or friends that they can turn to in case of an emergency.
yourself and your children that we are living in a very powerful
country where every effort is being made by the government to
keep us safe from harm. Try to keep your sense of humor and optimism
strong and make time to have great experiences with your family.#
is superintendent of Syosset Central School District. Randi Sachs
is Public Information Officer of Syosset Schools.
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