Let kids talk about what they saw, what they're feeling, Franklin Regional parents told
What do you tell them?
Parents likely wondered Wednesday how to talk with children who saw friends fall at the hands of a fellow student at Franklin Regional High School. Students in other districts might worry that something like that could happen at their school, experts said.
It's important for parents not to pass anxiety onto their children, said Paul Friday, chief of clinical psychology at UPMC Shadyside. He suggests parents reassure their children that “they are safe ... (and) statistically, this was an anomaly.”
“Be careful but not paranoid,” he said. “If they don't have a problem, don't give it to them. You don't have to walk them to school.”
It's important to listen to what kids say.
“Give it a couple of days and talk about it again — and let them talk,” he said.
Psychiatrist Anandhi Narasimhan said parents should look for telltale signs of anxiety such as nightmares, fear about going outside or worry that it will happen again.
“Research shows the best thing is to get back to normal sooner than later,” said Narasimhan, of Los Angeles, who grew up in East Liberty and Shaler, and has friends with children at Franklin Regional.
Parents should take advantage of counseling the school district offers, she said.
“Let them talk about it, let them process it,” Narasimhan said. “Sit down and let them talk.”
Signs of trauma don't always surface in the first week or two.
“Parents need to communicate to their kids that, while these things seem to happen a lot, they do not,” said Steven Berkowitz, associate professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine and director of Penn Center for Youth and Family Trauma Response and Recovery.
“There's no reason to be afraid about your school,” he said. “After events like this, things are usually much safer.”
Berkowitz said maintaining routine is important: “When you succumb to it, change what you're doing, it interferes with feeling. ... It is literally ‘getting back on the horse.' ”
The National Association of Social Workers, Pennsylvania Chapter, said it is committed to “assist those involved with this tragedy.”
“We are confident that our trained and qualified social workers will assist the students, families, and Murrysville community in the coping and healing process,” the group said in a statement.
The group's executive director, Ron Simon, urged people in Murrysville to “commit as a community to not only address this issue, but prevent tragedies such as this from happening.”
Craig Smith is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5646 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Excela, Pitt-Greensburg team on legacy videos for those in twilight of lives
- Keystone Bakery closes Greensburg store
- Puppies’ eyes glued shut, South Huntingdon animal shelter says
- Mt. Pleasant Guard unit may be deployed again
- Witnesses recount Franklin Regional stabbing
- Dining at Applebee’s helps Jacobs Creek Area Faith in Action
- Greensburg still fighting waterlogged Lynch Field, may add drainage
- Harrold Middle School students hit new high with food drive
- Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County, Youngwood discuss sewage system sale
- H&M to open in Westmoreland Mall
- Former Hempfield Area director makes guest appearance at University of Alabama