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Disasters, crises, and other troubling incidents can be short-term or ongoing. They can be acts of nature such as a hurricane, an earthquake, or a worldwide pandemic, or they can be acts of violence committed by people, like the storming of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. In times like these, it's vital for learners—of all ages—to voice their concerns and fears and ask questions.
While many consider children to be more emotionally resilient than adults, multiple studies suggest that children can be at greater risk after traumatic events for lingering effects including anxiety, depression, and behavioral and learning problems. Some children who are exposed to events through the media or by overhearing adult conversations can show many of the same symptoms as those who experience those events firsthand. While talking to children about traumatic news events, parents and school professionals can employ the following strategies to empower students through knowledge while restoring a sense of calm.
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