Trauma & Stress

Coping with Trauma and Stress and Building Resilience

NAEYC has compiled these online resources for parents, teachers, and others working with young children about coping with violence and talking to young children about tragedies they learn about in the media:

Coping with violence

Resources to help parents talk to children about violence and disasters.

  • Importance of basic services and timely triage and referral 
  • Psychological first aid
  • Helping children understand and adjust to loss
  • Support pediatricians
  • Get involved
  • Training

Talking with children (helping children cope and adjust after a disaster):

This resource includes information on several Federal agencies, national organizations, and publications that have information for child care providers on preparing for emergencies.”

–Office of Child Care

Resources for child care care providers and CCR&Rs to prepare for a crisis, disaster, or emergency event.”

–Child Care Aware

Read timeless wisdom on what to keep in mind when talking to young children about a tragedy from Fred Rogers for parents, teachers, and caregivers.”

As a parent, you may be struggling with how to talk with your children about a shooting rampage. It is important to remember that children look to their parents to make them feel safe.”

American Psychological Association

“The National Education Association (NEA) and the National Education Association Health Information Network (NEA HIN) developed this easy-to-use crisis guide with essential, to-the-point advice for schools and districts.”

–The National Education Association

This web page includes information about the Disaster Distress Hotline, the nation’s first hotline dedicated to providing disaster crisis counseling. It also includes articles for students, parents, teachers, and other caregivers, and for responders and health professionals”

–Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Mental Health America offers tips for parents in helping preschool-age children, as well as grade school-age children and adolescents, with tragedy-related anxiety”

– Mental Health America

“Authors Cathy Grace and Elizabeth Shores offer literature-based activities to help children who have been through a trauma. 

With activities and exercises that can be used in conjunction with 50 children’s books, the discussion starters and writing and art activities inAfter the Crisis can be used by teachers to promote children’s ability to cope and heal.”


Talking to children about disasters

Tips for talking to children and youth after traumatic events – SAMHSA

    • Subtitled “A Guide for Parents and Educators,” this printable PDF contains concise tips for talking to children after traumatic events as well as resource links when more active intervention may be required.”

Talking to children about earthquakes and other natural disasters – AACAP

    • “Suggestions for talking to children about earthquakes and natural disasters from a child psychiatrist are provided in a printable PDF by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry”


Helping children after a disaster

Helping children cope with tragedy-related anxiety – mental health America

  • This web page, from Mental Health America (formerly known as the National Mental Health Association), offers tips for parents in helping preschool-age children, as well as grade school-age children and adolescents, with tragedy-related anxiety.”

Mindfulness Practices

Mindfulness Practices for Families

“When parents and children are feeling big emotions, it’s good to find some calm. Simple mindfulness activities can help.”

  • “Mindfulness is noticing what’s going on outside—and inside—of us with acceptance and kindness. As mindful parents, we can be curious and open to understanding what our children are feeling and experiencing. The mindfulness exercises here are designed to help both parent and child experience a sense of calm connection.

Divorce, Death, and Other Grief

Supporting Young Children Experiencing Separation and Trauma

“Young children and their families can be tremendously affected by trauma, with significant implications for well-being well into the future.”

  • “This page offers resources for families and caregivers working with very young children who have experienced trauma as well as connection to specialized mental health professionals who understand the needs of very young children.


We are particularly concerned about the significant impacts this public health crisis is likely to have on our nation’s child care and early learning programs, including educators, families, and children.

  • These online resources have been created by NAEYC  to provide information from NAEYC and a few national health and educational organizations.
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