The author helps children overcome trauma


OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Hearing about the deadly school shooting in Texas affects us all in one way or another, especially teachers, parents and students.

A Kansas City-area author helps children deal with trauma through books.

Andrea Burns spent eight years teaching in the classroom. Now she’s taking on a new role – hoping to help children deal with big emotions through books.

Burns experienced burnout in the school system, but she still has a passion for raising children. She turns the page of her own story.

“It really comes down to how their parents might react,” Burns said.

This Overland Park author wrote: “Failure Friday.” It is a socio-emotional learning picture book that encourages our young people to carry on after a figurative fall.

“Saying, even if I fail, I’m going to move on and I’m going to keep going to be successful in life,” Burn said.

Her social media points parents and educators to different books that can help navigate difficult conversations.

Children now face so many different types of trauma. Most recently, the deadly school shooting in Texas.

“They whisper and I pretend not to hear. it’s more than a little scary,” Burns read in The Breaking News.

Dr Jami Gross-Toalson said carers should recognize the importance of open communication and the ability to talk things through in the moment.

“So when the parents open the door and say hello, it’s good for us to talk about it, it’s a little less scary for the kids,” Gross-Toalson said. “It ensures that we as parents are the ones to help them understand and process in a way that makes them feel safe and secure within the family. |

She said most children going to school have already taken part in lockdown drills. They may not know what it means, but it can still be scary.

“We want to be the ones they come to with their questions,” Gross-Toalson said.

Tragedies can be difficult to understand at any age. It hit close to home for Burns, a former 4th grade teacher.

“I just imagined what I would do in that situation, and I would do exactly what those teachers did, protect those kids,” Burns said. “The fact that they had to do this is very upsetting.”

Burns said books like “The Breaking News” tell a story from a child’s perspective, which helps the relationship.

Gross-Toalson said there really isn’t a right or wrong age to talk about the tragedy with children.

“Really, one of the best things we can do is say, I’m here, as a mom, dad or grandparent and let me know when you’re ready to talk about it,” Gross-Toalson said. . “We want to be the ones they come to with their questions so they don’t get misleading information, or hear things without a safe place to process it.”


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