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Supporting your student during times of stress and change
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Supporting your student during times of stress and change

Supporting your student during times of stress and change

Reflections from Superintendent Ed Graff

On the anniversary of the killing of George Floyd, and as our community struggles with the trauma of children taken by gun violence, Superintendent Graff reflects on what this means for our MPS community. (EspañolHmoob, Soomaali)

Remembering George Floyd and Acknowledging our Collective Grief and Trauma

The following presentation was created to guide classroom conversations and is also a resource for caregivers and community members to create healing-centered spaces to acknowledge our collective grief and trauma. Click the image below or this link to see the full presentation. And see the TPT documentary, Say His Name: Five Days for George Floyd.

Remembering George Floyd

Talking to kids about difficult issues

Derek Francis, MPS Manager of Counseling Services, presents ways to talk with kids difficult issues.

Talking with your students about tough topics, big experiences and big feelings

The links below provide strategies and tools for talking with young people about potentially difficult topics like naming race and racism, practicing social justice, recognizing big feelings and making sense of what we see in the media.

Be present

  • Children will take their cues from you - so take good care of yourself.  Just as they share in your moments of joy, they will also share in your pain so take care about how much they can manage.
  • Be as consistent as possible. Simply being available promotes feelings of safety and security
  • Attend to physical needs; make referrals and connections to those who can help
  • Focus any conversations on feelings 
  • Be someone your student can talk to about their experience: care, really listen, be there to lean on or cry with

How to let people know you are listening

  • Listen more, talk less
  • Your compassionate presence is more important than your words
  • Try not to interrupt
  • When you do speak, do it in a calm, warm tone
  • Label, summarize, and mirror the feelings the other person is expressing
  • Do ask questions to clarify

Avoid saying

  • I know how you feel
  • Let’s talk about something else
  • You should work toward getting over this
  • You are strong enough to deal with this
  • I know how you feel (But it’s okay to say, “I feel sad too")
  • You’ll feel better soon
  • You need to relax

Behaviors to watch for

Your child may show some of these behaviors immediately or days, weeks, or even months after an incident. If these last for a prolonged time or seem to get worse rather than better, reach out to your health care provider.

  • Shock/denial
  • Restlessness, anger, aggressive behavior
  • Sleeping or eating difficulties
  • Headaches, tummy aches, body aches
  • Withdrawal
  • Sadness, tearfulness
  • Poor concentration
  • Unexpected fears and worries
  • Acting younger than their age
  • School avoidance

Preparing yourself to be an adult resource for children and youth

Resources for talking with your student and family about race & racism

Resources for self-care, self, compassion and taking a break