As the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., subsides, many area educators and counselors are struggling with how to talk about the recent events with children.
Jerry Dunn, executive director of Children’s Advocacy Services of Greater St. Louis at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, and her staff discussed this topic Aug. 21 with more than 100 psychological educators and professionals. The discussion, “Promoting Children’s Resilience In Ferguson: Resources for Helping Professionals,” addressed how to engage with children who may be experiencing stress or trauma related to the recent events, as well as warning signs to look for, how to talk to children about their concerns and resources available in the area.
Adults need to stay calm, Dunn said. “Our children are going to respond to you in the way you respond to them.”
But adults also need to ask children directly what they need, then follow the children.
“They will take you where they need to go,” Dunn said.