USD 211 SUPERINTENDENT GREG MANN shared AN EDITORIAL COMMENT by the Craig Kautz Superintendent of the Hastings, NE Public Schools. It is excellent advice. Please keep the victims, their families and the residents of New Town, CT in your thoughts and prayers. Dear Parents and Guardians: Today’s sad news regarding events in Connecticut may raise questions of concern from our children. Young children need to feel that the world is a secure and predictable place. Many typical childhood fears resurface or become heightened when they hear about tragic events. The following suggestions may be helpful for parents and guardians to use when talking with children about their fears. • Model a positive attitude. Children take their cues from adults. While acknowledging trauma, focus on helping your child develop compassion, strength, and a sense that they have control over life’s challenges. • Use the “three C’s” in dealing with fears – communication, control, and compassion. Communicate with your child about their feelings, help them gain control over their feelings, and always show compassion. • Try not to overreact in regard to the event in front of your child. This can cause more anxiety. Reduce the amount of TV they watch in regard to the event. • Never say a fear is silly. It is very real to your child. When a child is afraid, they need to feel that those around them will help and protect them. • Encourage, but don’t force communication. In a calm manner, talk about your own feelings. Language gives a sense of control, so put words to your child’s fears. Let them know that they can always come to you. Our school counselors and teachers are available to assist any child who needs to talk about today’s events this coming week and beyond. Please reassure your child that his or her school has plans in place to protect them and for emergencies.