Religious School Parents Association

Our Religious School Parents Association works with the Religious School teachers and staff and assists them in providing a high quality Jewish education for our young people, and also works to promote the Religious School and its activities to the greater community. Our members work with the Rabbi and teachers and assist with the planning and hosting of all Religious School holiday celebrations. Our monthly meetings are held on Sunday mornings from 9:00-10:00 a.m. All Religious School family member are encouraged to attend.

The Religious School Parents Association President’s Message December 2018.

        At our last RSPA meeting, I promised to compile and get to you a list of resources for parents who may need to have difficult conversations with their children. I shared with you my own experience and other parents discussed similar experiences.

Our hearts go out to anyone with family or friends effected by the shootings in Pittsburgh or in Thousand Oaks.

The PJ Library has compiled their own list of resources, and the lead article is quite helpful:

PJ Library: How to Talk to Children about Anti-Semitism:

https://pjlibrary.org/beyond-books/pjblog/february-2017/how-to-talk-to-children-about-anti-semitism

The PJ Library also recommends:

How to Talk to Your Kids about Scary Situations:

https://pjlibrary.org/beyond-books/pjblog/january-2017/how-to-talk-to-your-kids-about-scary-situations

Videos to Help Parents and Kids Talk about Scary Situations (this page includes links to videos from Sesame Street, PBS Kids, Mr. Rogers, and the American Academy of Pediatrics)

https://pjlibrary.org/beyond-books/pjblog/october-2018/how-to-talk-about-violence-with-kids

Kveller: 4 Steps for Talking to Kids About the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting (also linked from PJ Library)

https://www.kveller.com/4-steps-for-talking-to-kids-about-the-pittsburgh-synagogue-shooting/

Parents Place: Talking to Children about Anti-Semitism and Hate Crimes: (Google search)

https://parentsplace.jfcs.org/talking-to-children-about-anti-semitism-and-hate-crimes/

ELLE: How to Talk to Children about Antisemitism

https://www.elle.com/life-love/a24673758/how-to-talk-to-children-about-antisemitism/

American Academy of Pediatrics: Responding to Children’s Emotional Needs During Times of Crisis\

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/emotional-wellness/Pages/Responding-to-Childrens-Emotional-Needs-During-Times-of-Crisis.aspx

From Today Parents, interview with Dr. Gilboa: How to talk to Children about Shootings

https://www.today.com/parents/how-talk-children-about-shootings-age-age-guide-t59626

Southern Poverty Law Center (not really focused on children and parenting, but more about general community responses, talks about including children): Ten Ways to Fight Hate

https://www.splcenter.org/20170814/ten-ways-fight-hate-community-response-guide

National Education Association (more focused on school shootings, I included what looked most pertinent to me below): 

http://www.nea.org/home/72279.htm

w Early elementary school children need brief, simple information that should be balanced with reassurances that their school and homes are safe and that adults are there to protect them. Give simple examples of school safety like reminding children about exterior doors being locked, child monitoring efforts on the playground, and emergency drills practiced during the school day.

Upper elementary and early middle school children will be more vocal in asking questions about whether they truly are safe and what is being done at their school. They may need assistance separating reality from fantasy. Discuss efforts of school and community leaders to provide safe schools.

National Public Radio (more focused on parent conversations with children): How to talk to Kids about Terrible Things 

https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2018/02/18/586447438/how-to-talk-with-kids-about-terrible-things

Thank you to Ruth Tanner for helping compile these resources.

Also, I mentioned that I have a sister who works as a child therapist. I spoke with her about my daughter’s responses. She gave me some good guidelines that I’d like to pass along to you, along with others:

  • Inquire about “brief counseling services” for children from a prospective therapist or counselor. If any family member has anxiety problems, and a child in the family expresses fear or anxiety, that child may also benefit from counseling to help him or her through an acute situation.
  • Public schools have guidance counselors; they are also a good resource for you as well. Their skillsets are not limited to academic advising. They can recommend resources outside of school, if needed.
  • Your pediatrician may also be an excellent resource for recommendations.
  • Rabbi Sobel may also make recommendations to parents or talk to and reassure Temple children.

I hope this information is helpful. If you feel you need help, please reach out. Sometimes a conversation will do the trick, while other times you may need more. When I heard about the Thousand Oaks shooting in the news this morning, I thought about the parent meeting and my promise to you.

Be well and remember to express your love to your children.

Thanks,

Cherie