Schools and Sandy: Coping and Caregivers

I wrote last week about the difficulties facing teachers and parents as they try to comfort children after Sandy, and earlier this week about the challenges schools are facing. I just want to point you now to this outstanding Q&A from SchoolBook, which focuses on NYC schools, and the great advice for helping both kids and grown-ups through recovery:

“Acknowledge that it was very frightening. But there is a delicate balance between dwelling on it, on the one hand, and on the other, saying that’s done and gone and now it’s over and everything is fine. …Offer them comfort, the equivalent of a cup of soup — we’re all together, we’re all going to be decent with each other, we’ll get through it.

As long as a child feels like there is a safe, comforting and relatively stable adult to whom they can turn, that’s half the battle won. The flip side is who does the adult turn to? This is when community becomes very important. Adults must turn to each other to seek the help they need, whether it’s a blanket or a hug. They need the strength to offer comfort to these little ones who are so terrified. The adult has to feel some semblance of strength and groundedness to be there for a child.”

Big thanks to Nirvi Shah, a writer for Education Week, who’s linked to so many great resources on her Twitter feed.

I appreciate the attention paid here not just to helping kids, but also in ensuring that grown-ups (that’s you, mom/dad/teacher/grandma/grandpa!) are taking care of themselves. I’ve said before that I was lucky in this storm – losing power for two weeks was frustrating and stressful, but being safe throughout it is extraordinary – but I’ll admit I’m having trouble addressing my feelings. It’s important that caregivers take care of themselves as well as their charges

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