There are MANY things you can do:

1. Please DONATE to our special national ONE HEART FOR KIDS Fund to counsel
kids and teens in the months to come, as they show stress signs from our
national tragedy! Support our national hotlines and other free services with'
as much as you can donate--payable to 

STREETCATS / One Heart,  1550 N.E. 137th. Avenue Portland OR, 97230

We need YOUR support for the months to come!

2. Stop the input. Get your children to return to 'normalcy' by turning off
most of the news (if you want to watch, use headphones), playing more, going
on outings, hugging more, watching entertainment on cable or renting some
videos without violence.

3. Have open conversations. Be real and reassuring. Discuss why it happened
and real feelings, but assure them that they are safe. Also teach them more
tolerance for people different than them.

4. Get 'spiritual.' Take your kids or friend's kids to churches and
synagogues on a regular basis and give them a sense of HOPE.

5. Use all the following links to educate yourself and help children and
youth around you:

**Teaching Tolerance is a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a national
non-profit civil rights organization that promotes tolerance and diversity
and combats hate and discrimination through education, investigation and
litigation. This online resource is designed for easy access to news and
engaging exercises that promote personal soul-searching.

Hotlines. citykids or teenhelp will
point you to many hotlines where you can get free counseling, many of them operating
24/7 or call us 510 316-7100 PACIFIC time for help.


Helping Kids and Adults Cope With the Virginia Tech Tragedy 

 Content provided by Revolution Health Group

 As more details from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) massacre trickle out, parents are asking how they can help their children deal with the constant flow of information and fear. Revolution Health asked 2 experts to answer our questions on issues stemming from this tragedy .

 Steven Marans, Ph.D., M.S.W., a professor of child psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine and director for the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence, both in New Haven, Conn.; and Andrew Gerber, M.D., Ph.D., a general adult psychiatrist in New York City; respond below: 

What should I know about how my children are experiencing this, and how do I know whether they are having a hard time coping? 

Marans: Because fear is the most immediate experience that people have when watching and hearing about this news, it often sidesteps the kinds of feelings that are stirred up with these tragic events. These feelings have to do with common concerns about losing people we love, having our bodies damaged or losing control of impulses, feelings and reactions. 

It is keeping an ear open to children of all ages — not only responding to the events, but responding to the kinds of shared concerns that we all have that are highlighted and, in a way, are exposed more when some of them come true in real life. 

How should the child’s age affect my approach? 

Marans: To be broad, for very young children, the question would be what have they heard and why would they have heard about these events. Preschool kids should not be exposed to information of these events. 

The events become more relevant to the world of school-age kids, only to the extent to which they are hearing about it and at times are bombarded by news in a way that is not well-contained or controlled. They hear about it from friends or the adults in their lives. 

The important ingredient with school-age kids is to see if you are adequately monitoring what they are hearing and seeing in the news and asking, in most general ways, how their day has been … and then waiting to hear whether these issues are really on their minds. 

Listening gives adults a wonderful opportunity to allow their children to talk about it and to determine whether they have any questions or concerns. 

To assume that every kid in the country is worried about this school shooting in Virginia is a mistake, but to close our ears and eyes to the possibility that kids are affected is also irresponsible. 

Some kids will ask what drives people to carry out such a violent act. 

Marans: The short answer is every human being can harbor anger and rage and even murderous fantasies. But most human beings do not carry them out in this sort of fashion. So it’s really hard to say in any given case what would trigger that behavior. 

Are there warning signs that suggest the capacity for this kind of behavior? 

Marans: The reality is that for some, there are warning signs. But they may not be warning signs for mass shootings. They may be warning signs for serious emotional mental health difficulties that go unnoticed and without intervention and treatment. 

The other part is that sometimes the people who are engaged in these kinds of assaults may be so isolated, and they might not tell other people what they are thinking and planning. They are sometimes the very people who do not seek help in the midst of serious illness. 

Should people who are particularly hard hit by this event avoid news of it or embrace it as a way to work through the event? 

Gerber: Some people find information helpful as a way to come to grips with what happened. Others find that it overloads them and makes them feel worse. They should not feel compelled to do either one. They should really follow their instincts. 

The best thing is to be in a supportive environment and to talk to other people with whom one feels safe. It is important to be supported by friends, family and people who can understand what they are going through. 

Could someone with no connection to the university, its students or the shooter suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from an event like this?

 Gerber: According to the strict definition of post-traumatic stress, one has to feel in some way that one’s life is at risk. But there are people who can feel at risk and unsafe even if they were not right there. It seems unlikely that they would meet the strict criteria of PTSD. But that does not mean that they are not affected in a severe way by the events. 

I had panic attacks after 9/11 — I’m afraid this will happen again. 

Gerber: The first thing is to know that you are not alone and there is help available. Be in a supportive environment, and if things are really getting in the way of life, seek professional help. There are lots of types of psychotherapy and medications that can be helpful. 

Also read this from the Red Cross about helping children and youth cope



**For Very Young Children
Even babies and toddlers can experience anxiety. Zero to Three offers some
advice for protecting and reassuring very young children.

**Tragic Times, Healing Words
Sesame Street Workshop offers specific examples of what to say and do when
children say they're scared, from toddlers to elementary school age. This
help sheet was prepared in the wake of the Colorado school shooting.

**Helping Children Cope with Trauma
The American Counseling Association has compiled a list of ways parents
and adults can help young children deal with trauma.


**Talking with Children: Tips for Parents
The National Association of School Psychologists offers tips for parents
not only in English, but also in Spanish, Arabic, Farsi, Korean, Urdu and

**A Guide for Parents: Ten Tips for Talking with Children about Terrorism
is not always what you say, but how you say it that matters for young
children. Here's help from the Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and
Conflict Management.

**Helping Children Understand the Terrorist Attacks
The U.S. Department of Education explains how adults can talk with
children about the attacks, along with suggestions for educators and links
to additional helpful resources.

**What to Look For
UCLA's School Mental Health Project identifies common responses that
children often experience in the wake of overwhelming events: persistent
fears about being separated from their families, sleep disturbances, loss
of concentration and irritability, physical complaints, withdrawal and

**Trauma and the Attacks in the United States
New York University's Child Study Center offers resources to help parents,
teachers and mental health professionals explain war and terrorism to
children, how to help them cope, and signs of trauma-related stress.


**Reactions to Trauma: Suggestions for Teens
The National Mental Health and Education Center has brief information for
teens on normal reactions to trauma, and how they can help themselves.

**Helping Youth Understand Addiction (Alcohol and Drug Use distorts feelings
and delays them, but it doesn't deal with feelings!)

**Talking to Children about Violence
What if teens don't want to talk, or if they are fascinated by these
events? Educators for Social Responsibility may have answers for you and
your family or classroom.

**Finding the Right Words
KidsHealth has information and helpful language for parents, teachers,
kids and teens about the painful feelings they might expect to have.

**Helping Children Cope with Disaster
When no other words come to mind, a hug and saying, "This is really hard
for us," will work, advises the National Mental Health and Education
Center. This handout for parents describes common reactions by age group
and ways to help children and teens, as adults struggle themselves to make
sense and feel in control.

**Strategies for Parents and Teachers
Focusing on the themes of attachment and separation, North Carolina
State's Cooperative Extension Services offers specific activities and
ideas for families and classrooms, with some helpful advice for teens and
high schools.


**Children and Death
Most of the time adults are reluctant to talk about death with children.
These brochures from Hospice Net have helpful guidance for talking about
death with children and teenagers.

**Children and Grief
When a family member dies, children react differently from adults. Adding
to a child's shock and confusion at the death of a brother, sister or
parent is the unavailability of other family members, who may be so shaken
by grief that they are not able to cope with the normal responsibility of
child care.

**All Kids Grieve
All kids experience loss. The key is to help them channel their grief into
personal growth, not violence or destructive behavior.
offers books, classroom strategies and information on how to start support
groups for kids.


**Discussing the News with 3- to 7-Year-Olds: What to Do?
In times of great distress, young children need to hear that your
grownups at home and your grownups at school know how to take care of
you. Here are specific classroom suggestions from the National
Association for the Education of Young Children.

**Memorials/Activities/Rituals Following Traumatic Events:  Suggestions for Schools
School memorials, ceremonies or memory activities following a traumatic
experience serve an important function in the healing process for both
students and staff. The National Association of School Psychologists
offers guidance on planning such activities.

**Talking to Public School Students about Disasters
The DC Public Schools has an outline of what to expect, and how to react,
when the news or events upset children.

**Crisis Communications Guide and Toolkit
This National Education Association toolkit offers approaches and
activities for schools at the time of crisis, as well as in the aftermath
ways to return to a new normal and help in understanding how children
and teens respond to trauma and stress.

**Helping Children Handle Disaster-Related Anxiety
The National Mental Health Association reminds us that each child responds
differently to disasters, depending on his or her understanding and
maturity. The National Mental Health Association (800-969-6642) can
provide you with information about your local mental health association or
local American Red Cross chapter.


**Finding Ways to Help Yourself
It's hard to help children with their feelings when adults themselves are
feeling stunned, confused or anxious. Arizona State University has some
good advice for adults.

**Coping with Terrorism
The American Psychological Association explains common reactions and how
adults can help themselves, and their children.

**U.S. Government Responds to September 11 has information to help families identify benefits and find
assistance, along with suggestions for those who want to help.


**Finding Ways to Help Others
Aid organizations like the Red Cross and Salvation Army are coordinating
their efforts with government agencies to organize help for stricken
communities. Check your local paper or TV for local information on
donating blood or money. Here is a list of national organizations that can
channel your donations to those who need it most.

Please type in Streetcats or Street Cats at the following address and help
us and the National Childrens Coalition and Teen-Anon help youth!


**What to Do about Prejudice?
If you are hearing an increase in prejudiced anti-Arab comments, you can
intervene. Here's advice from Educators for Social Responsibility.

**Promoting Tolerance and Peace in Children: Tips for Parents and Schools
While anger is a normal response felt by many, we must ensure that we do
not compound an already great tragedy and react against innocent
individuals with vengeance and intolerance, says the National Association
of School Psychologists. Find key messages for adults to help children,
and themselves.

**When Hurt Leads to Hate
As adults we need to be aware of and stand up to physical and emotional
hate and empower our children to do the same. This article from the New
York University Child Study Center has ideas for how parents can help
children deal with this crisis without becoming prejudiced, stereotyping
specific groups, or retaliating with acts of bias.

**Reporting Harassment
If you or your children have been subjected to harassment or attack, the
Council on American Islamic Relations Web site has guidelines, a phone
number and an online reporting form.

**Help against Hatred
Along with advice for parents on talking with children, the National PTA
has posted information on talking with children about hatred and
prejudice, in both English and Spanish.

Youth & Children Net | Kidsurfer | Teensurfer | Teen-Anon | Streetcats Foundation for Youth