Bibliotherapy: Resources For Children Dealing With Tragedy

August 14, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Our nation is still reeling after the recent tragic events of Aurora, Colorado and Oak Creek, Wisconsin.  While we as parents and caregivers struggle to come to terms and make sense of the senseless, the children in our lives are also being impacted by these and other events in the news. 

While they might not fully understand the situation, young children are observant and take their cues from adults’ behavior.  They might become frightened after seeing certain images on TV, or overhearing parts of adults’ conversation.  One of the things scariest to a child is when they realize that the adults in their life are scared or worried, too.  It can be difficult to approach the subject with them when you are still processing the event yourself.  The following are some excellent resources for reading to and talking to your children about scary events and helping them to cope in age-appropriate ways.

Fred Rogers Talks About Tragic Events in the News:  This article is an excerpt from a book available in our library catalog: The Mister Rogers Parenting Book; Helping to Understand Your Young Child, by Fred Rogers.

Resilience Guide for Parents & Teachers. The American Psychological Association offers this guide for parents and teachers on preparing and strengthening children’s resilience.

Tragic Times, Healing Words. This guide, offered by Sesame Workshop, was created for parents dealing with the effects of the September 11, 2001 attacks.  It includes excellent, research-based advice for helping children of all ages cope in the face of tragedy.  

The National Education Association (NEA) Health Information Network has created a Crisis Guide for school staff that includes helpful information for families as well.  This particular document created for parents and caregivers is especially helpful for developing responses to specific crisis-related symptoms your child may be experiencing.  It also includes a list of suggested activities for children to help guide them through whatever they are feeling.

If you are looking for books to help you and your children deal with a tragic event, please review this list of Books for Families Coping With Tragedy available from our library.  For additional advice, please give us a call or come into the library to speak with a librarian about finding the perfect resources for your family.

For more information about these and other FREE resources available @ your library®, call (813) 273-3652 or visit


Entry filed under: Community Information, Library Resources, Reading List. Tags: , , .

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