May 31, 2022 - News

Coping tips for parents and teachers after the Uvalde school shooting

illustration of two hands reaching out to each other
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Last week's mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, has reverberated across the nation.

  • School districts from coast to coast have sent home tips on how to talk to children about tragedy. Meanwhile, parents, caregivers and teachers are also navigating the collective grief and trauma of yet another school shooting.

Axios asked University of Pennsylvania psychologist Howard Stevenson, an expert in violence prevention and racial stress and trauma, for tips on how adults can cope in the aftermath of Uvalde.

  1. Don't suppress your feelings: Listen to your body and thoughts, and keep tabs on how you're responding to information about the tragedy, Stevenson said.
  2. Engage in self-care: Fear and anxiety may cause people to lose sleep or appetite. "Self-care also means to notice that you need to keep living well," he said.
  3. Get accurate information: Think critically about your news sources, look out for exaggerated accounts, and challenge information you know to be inaccurate, particularly when talking to people you trust. "Helping others be better informed is helpful for your own sense of control and agency in a world that feels unstable," he said.
  4. Talk to family members: It's understandable to feel worried for your loved ones. Make a plan together for how best to respond to what's happening in the world, Stevenson said.
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