There will be public policy responses to the tragedy in Newtown, Conn. These responses, however, will take time.
As we grieve, the good news is that there is no reason to wait for policymakers to act. There are meaningful, personal responses that can happen right now and are evidence-based. These actions are easy and will truly help in the healing and prevention processes for individuals and the nation going forward.
For those of us with children, research shows that it makes a very positive difference when we show them how much we care by asking about their day at school (every day), eating meals together, smiling a lot and helping them get professional help if they need it.
And when we encounter other children, we know that our actions matter and that it is important to let them know that they count. Isolation hurts, a lot. To children and young adults, we do make a difference when we reach out in positive ways. Sometimes it can be a matter of life and death.
Deborah L. Williams