Hegberg: The skills to cope
My son is the school safety officer in Basalt, his kids are in the Glenwood schools, and there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t worry about their safety, along with all the kids he serves.
He wears a gun to kill anyone who threatens the kids and would say that an accidental shooting into the school floor by a cop is entirely unacceptable and that a prank like the one we just experienced is absurd. Sadly, that’s the world we live in, and it isn’t going to change anytime soon.
What to do? Give our kids, teachers, and parents the skills to cope with and recover from fear. Our nervous system is there to keep us safe. When you face stress from a threat, your brain tells your body the equivalent of “Hey, there’s a lion over there.”
The lion doesn’t have to be a real threat. We are wired to react to any perceived threat, and one that continues to happen keeps us perpetually on alert. That’s why we have trouble sleeping, low energy, and a hard time focusing and learning — it’s like the nervous system says “run” when you’re just trying to get through your day.
At FocusedKids, we teach kids beginning at age 3 and the adults in their lives the skills to restore balance to the nervous system, calming the body to clear the mind, and leaving you feeling safe and in control: regulating for future functioning.
Kids and adults who have learned this skill cope more effectively when a threat comes. A regulated nervous system is when we are most ourselves and most able to handle life.