In the aftermath of horrible events, tending to children's emotional safety is incredibly important.
We are all saddened by the devastating news of the explosions in Boston. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families. Many, many Explo families are from Massachusetts and we fervently hope that they are all safe and unharmed. We have heard from Explo marathon runners, spectators who were at the finish line, and even an emergency room physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, but we have not learned of any member of the Explo community who was injured. If you know of a member of the Explo family who was impacted, please let us know.
In the hours after this tragedy, I heard from Explo folks from far and wide checking in to see if everyone was OK and if we knew of anyone affected. Though people were hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles away, the world felt like it was smaller place because we all share a common humanity.
I also want to reach out to our families far from Massachusetts. A very large earthquake has hit the Middle East and many deaths are expected. We have students from Pakistan, not far from the epicenter of the quake, as well as students from India and the Gulf States. Please know that we hold you all in our thoughts.
In the case of yesterday’s events in Boston, though one person or a group showed us their worst selves, thousands of people shared their best selves caring for the injured and comforting the frightened. No doubt this basic human instinct to care for those in need is also on display in the Middle East and Asia in response to the quake. At tragic moments such as these, it is good to remember that kindness paves the road to recovery.
A couple of resources:
This article by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry focuses on talking with children in the wake of the type of tragedy that happened in Boston: Talking to Children Article
And for those looking for guidance on how to talk with children regarding natural disasters, Anita Gurian, Ph.D., has written a very good article: Talking to Kids About Natural Disasters