Spot Advisory: Connecticut School Shooting

Update: Advice for Parents Regarding Conn. School Shooting

Dr. Stevan M. Weine, professor of psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago, offers the following advice to parents:

  • Listen to your children.  Let them tell you what they are thinking and feeling, including their fears.  Let them ask you questions.
  • Limit their exposure to media coverage.  The more they see images and hear stories, the more likely they may think it’s happening nearby.
  • Be reassuring and comforting.  Let them know that they are safe and that their parents, teachers and police are working hard to keep them safe.
  • Most children are resilient and will be fine.  But if they are having difficulties sleeping, eating, or studying — or exhibit troubling play — you may want to seek help from a professional.

Weine is director of the UIC International Center on Responses to Catastrophes. His research focuses on the personal, familial, social, and historical dimensions of trauma and refugee migration. He was principal investigator of a National Institute of Mental Health funded study of rescued Bosnian and Kosovar families in Chicago.

Other UIC experts available for media

Dr. Carl Bell, director of the UIC Institute for Juvenile Research and professor of psychiatry, is an internationally recognized authority on children exposed to violence and their resiliency. Contact Jeanne Galatzer-Levy, (312) 835-5777;

Von Nebbitt, associate professor in UIC’s Jane Addams College of Social Work, is developing new ways to help people who witness or are victims of community violence. Contact Jeffron Boynés, (773) 633-7971;

Feedback welcome.

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