We all have been touched in some way by the tragic events surrounding the bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon. Regardless of our personal connection to the individuals and families directly affected by the blasts, we feel a deep sense of sadness and fear. Our experience of the bombings and the ongoing media coverage may also trigger feelings of grief, loss, and trauma related to our own past experiences. We also wonder how we can possibly discuss all of these events with our children. Hopefully some of these resources will be of help to you and your family as we all move forward together: The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has a great collection of resources for parents on how to talk with and support your children following the bombings. They also have links to resources for children and families who were injured and for pediatric professionals. The Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance has created a resource listing of free mental health services in Massachusetts. They also have information about applying for Crime Victim Assistance if you were injured in the Boston Marathon bombings. The Disaster Distress Helpline (through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) is a free and confidential helpline you can call if you are feeling emotional distress related to the bombings - call 800-985-5990 to be connected to information, support, and counseling. You can find great information here on what distress might look like and suggestions for coping methods.
Nanci Gelb & Terri Tsagaris On Marathon Monday, Nanci Gelb of Weston and Terri Tsagaris of Wellesley will join TCR's Miles & Memories Team at the starting line in Hopkinton - ready to run their sixth marathon together. Read the story about Nanci and Terri that was recently published on MetroWest Daily News online!
The Children’s Room is excited to cheer on our eight fabulous runners at this year’s Boston Marathon! TCR's Miles & Memories Marathon Team has already trained over 2,400 collective miles in preparation for Marathon Monday. On April 15th, our eight runners will join together at the starting line in Hopkinton and run 26.2 miles for The Children's Room. Left to right, starting from back: Nanci Gelb, Brenda Walsh-Segesdi, Anne Scharpf, Brandon Simpson, Terri Tsagaris, Kristen Pedroli, Stephanie Lubin-Levy, John Dudley In preparation for the big day, the Miles & Memories Marathon Team has trained over 2,400 collective miles. They are each running to honor the memory of loved ones and to support TCR’s mission of creating safe, supportive communities for grieving children, teens and families. Support the team and be a part of this exciting day! Read more about their individual stories and what inspires them to run 26.2 miles for The Children’s Room.
Boston Globe correspondent Joan Wickersham recently posted a thought-provoking editorial on grief. Grief doesn't have a timeline by Joan Wickersham, February 8, 2013 "... Grief is a lot weirder than we think. It doesn’t follow a logical course or conform to any predictable timetable. Yet we persist in making comments about how other people are doing it. And worse, we are constantly, secretly convinced that because our own grief doesn’t proceed according to our expectations, we must be doing it wrong." - Excerpt from Wickersham's Globe editorial. Continue reading...
TCR teens and chaperones at a Boston Celtics game - Weds., Jan. 30th Thanks to the Highland Hoops program, a partnership between the Highland Street Foundation and the Boston Celtics, a group of 22 teens from The Children’s Room had the opportunity to attend a recent Celtics game at TD Garden. In addition to enjoying the game (which the Celtics won!), the teens were also treated to Celtics t-shirts and hats and vouchers for food and merchandise. Thank you to the Highland Street Foundation for making this fun evening possible!
The following blog post by Phyllis Silverman is taken directly from her blog Raising Grieving Children, on Psychology Today's website. Phyllis Silverman is an international expert in the field of grief and one of the founders of The Children's Room. Learning a Language For Grief Grieving children need words for what they are feeling. Published on January 17, 2013 by Phyllis R. Silverman, Ph.D. in Raising Grieving Children After the tragedy in Newtown we are hearing a good deal about children and their reactions to death. It is on the radio, in our daily newspapers, and in many ways all around us as the citizens of Newtown are dealing with their grief. This is quite a contrast to what was called The National Grieving Children’s Day that took place on Nov.15, 2012. As I think about it, if I had not been connected to organizations devoted to children’s grief, the day would have come and gone without my hearing a word about it. If this day happened now it would hardly have gone unnoticed. As we find our way through the horror of this new event, we need to ask what we do know about grief in children. When I first started my research I found that it was considered important to “protect” children from the fact that people die. It was important to distract them. My research helped me see this very differently. I interviewed a social work student who told me that for many years, after his father died, he was told his father was away on business. He was 7 when his father died. When he was 10 his cousin told him that is what people say when a person dies. When he talked to [...]
The Children's Room executive director, Donna Smith Sharff, will be giving a presentation in Winchester later this month on "Easing Conversations in Difficult Times." Donna will address the needs, challenges and opportunities that children and families face when confronted with early loss. Information will be shared from a developmental perspective, and there will be ample time for questions and for browsing a display of books and resources. Donna Smith Sharff, LMHC, has been part of The Children's Room staff since 2003, and she holds a Masters Degree in Counseling from Lesley University. Read Donna's bio... This event, hosted free of charge by the First Congregational Church of Winchester, is open to all in the community and will be held on Tuesday evening, January 29th, from 7:00 - 8:30 pm in the Palmer Room of the First Congregational Church, 21 Church Street, Winchester. For additional information, please call 781-729-9180 ext. 16. View the original posting on the First Congregational Church of Winchester's website
Newtown: Not Just a List of Names Relationship to the deceased makes a difference in how various mourners respond. Published on December 22, 2012 by Phyllis R. Silverman, Ph.D. in Raising Grieving Children Phyllis Silverman, renowned grief expert and one of the founders of The Children's Room, recently wrote about her reactions to the shooting deaths in Newtown, Connecticut. In her blog "Raising Grieving Children," featured on Psychology Today's website, Silverman shares her thoughts on how people's relationship to the deceased makes a difference in how the loss is mourned. From the national level to the town of Newtown and the individual families directly affected, everyone affected by this tragedy will have their own ways of grieving and different needs as they move forward. Read the full blog post
Watertown Savings Bank is giving its customers the opportunity to let them know which local non-profit organization they should support through their $75,000 Customer Choice program. If you are a customer of Watertown Savings Bank, you are eligible to vote. You may only vote once. The deadline to vote is Saturday, January 19, 2013. Go to the Watertown Savings Bank website to vote. The Children's Room is not on the list, but you can write us in to give us your vote! Please consider voting and passing this message on to friends and family who bank with Watertown Savings!
LISTEN to a recording of Monday's WBUR Radio Boston program on how to talk with children about Newtown's tragic school shooting. Deborah Rivlin, Director of Education & Training at The Children's Room, took part in an expert panel Monday afternoon on Radio Boston - WBUR 90.9, Boston's NPR news station. Listen to the recorded program to hear strategies on how to talk to your kids about the shooting at Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School, as well as how families and schools can cope with the trauma, pain, and questions raised by acts of extreme violence. Also participating on the panel was Wendy Price - past president of the Massachusetts School Psychologists Association, Mass. delegate to the National Association of School Psychologists, and a practicing school psychologist at a high school in the South Shore; and John Palfrey, head of Phillips Academy in Andover.