Brené Brown's bio contact us speaking info event schedule books & dvds videos & articles connections certification ordinary courage blog downloads & badges classes & links downloads & t-shirts Brené's favorites

Publications

Learn more about the books!

I Thought It Was Just Me

Connections

Interviews & Videos Brené Brown in Video, Audio, and Print

Publications
  • Still Points North: One Alaskan Childhood, One Grown-up World, One Long Journey Home
    Still Points North: One Alaskan Childhood, One Grown-up World, One Long Journey Home
    by Leigh Newman

    Can't wait! 

  • Einstein's God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit
    Einstein's God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit
    by Krista Tippett
  • The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone---Especially Ourselves
    The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone---Especially Ourselves
    by Dan Ariely
  • Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up
    Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up
    by Harriet Lerner
Publications
  • Rhythm And Repose
    Rhythm And Repose
    Anti/Epitaph

    Tender and beautiful. 

  • Boys & Girls
    Boys & Girls
    by Alabama Shakes

    Love this album! So happy when I saw BrainPicker post this on her site! 

  • City of Refuge
    City of Refuge
    by Abigail Washburn

    Pure magic!

  • Some Nights
    Some Nights
    by Fun.
  • She Ain't Me
    She Ain't Me
    by Carrie Rodriguez

    I'm such a fan. 

  • I'm Your Man
    I'm Your Man
    by Leonard Cohen

    Take this Waltz is on my top ten list of all songs!

  • Babel
    Babel
    by Mumford & Sons
Publications
  • Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey (Original UK Unedited Edition)
    Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey (Original UK Unedited Edition)
    PBS

    So totally addicted to this series! Absolutely amazing!

  • Zen: Vendetta / Cabal / Ratking [Blu-ray]
    Zen: Vendetta / Cabal / Ratking [Blu-ray]
    starring Rufus Sewell

    Based on your recommendations from a recent blog post! It's another wonderful BBC mystery series! 

  • The Good Wife: The First Season
    The Good Wife: The First Season
    starring Julianna Margulies, Chris Noth, Josh Charles, Matt Czuchry, Archie Panjabi

    One of the best shows on TV. Juiliana Marguiles is incredible. 

  • Doc Martin: Collection - Series 1-4
    Doc Martin: Collection - Series 1-4
    starring Martin Clunes, Caroline Catz, Lia Williams, Stephanie Cole, Ian McNeice
gifting
Friday
Dec142012

prayers for the sandy hook elementary school community

I'm feeling heartbroken for the people in Connecticut. I'm turning off the TV and turning toward my family, faith, and deep prayer.

Lord, help me send love and light to those in pain. Let me stay calm and openhearted while I manage my own fear and anger. Help me remember that news coverage is traumatizing for me, not healing, and that my children need safety and information, not more fear. 

Here are resources that I find helpful for talking to children about violence and death: 

An excellent Q-and-A about talking to children about the Sandy Hook shootings from The Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics on School Shootings 

University of Minnesota on Talking to Kids About Violence Against Kids

National Association of School Psychologists on Talking to Children About Violence

What I consider to be one of the best articles on talking to children about death (by Hospice)

Explaining the news to our kids from Common Sense Media.

And this wonderful advice from Mr. Rogers (shared by Angel Marie):

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of "disaster," I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.

No matter how experienced the helpers, their lives will be changed today. Thank them. Pray for them. 

« our stories matter because we matter: thoughts on the power of our voices | Main | a special edition parenting manifesto from kelly rae roberts »

References (4)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Since I’ve been practicing psychotherapy, no other societal event has been so present in my clients’ sessions as the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012. For the weeks following, nearly every client came in wanting to talk about it to some extent. I was struck ...
  • Response
    Response: peter
  • Response
    Response: Online roulette
    I truly enjoy examining on this website, it contains great content. "Don't put too fine a point to your wit for fear it should get blunted." by Miguel de Cervantes.
  • Response

Reader Comments (34)

Thank you for this, Brene. Hard as it is to look away, so important to turn off the news right now (in my opinion)...so we can have time to process, send sympathy, feel connection with our own and with each other.
12.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAsha Dornfest
Thank you, Brene. Especially for the last piece from Mr. Rogers. I will pass this along to the administrators and teachers at my daughters' school as soon as I can stop sobbing.
12.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKario
Thank you. Especially for the quote from Mr. Rogers. I have shared it with others.
12.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSheryl
Thank you for this. I am struggling with how to talk to my 6 year old about this. I couldn't help but cry as I hugged him after school and had no idea what to tell him when he asked why I was crying and why Dad was home early to "help" pick him up.
12.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterApril
Thank you for posting this. I realize that for a myriad of reasons this is the world we live in now. I must say there is just something in me that falls when I see the title of American Pediatrics on School Shootings.

Turning off media. Sending love and light.
12.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnne
I live on the West Coast and am resisting the urge to run and pickup my children. Thank you so much for the resources, especially about the helpers. There are always helpers.
12.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeanne
Thank you so much.
12.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
I wasn't going to let my 9 1/2 year old home schooled son know about this, but I have read through all the links Brené provided & I asked him if parents should tell their children when bad things happen in the world. we discussed his answers that children should have some information about what is happening int he world, and since he will hear about it any way, nod oubt at his father's, I want to be the one to talk to him about it and answer his questions. Thank you so much for the resources.
12.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKia
I wasn't going to let my 9 1/2 year old home schooled son know about this, but I have read through all the links Brené provided & I asked him if parents should tell their children when bad things happen in the world. we discussed his answers that children should have some information about what is happening int he world, and since he will hear about it any way, no doubt at his father's, I want to be the one to talk to him about it and answer his questions. Thank you so much for the resources.
12.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKia
Thank you,
I heart Mr R. "look for the helpers"

I heart you too.
12.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne
I'm sorry. I'm sorry for the slain children, their families, the community that will be shattered for a long time and will need help and support. But I am also sorry for you not talking responsibility and saying Stop! No! This is not acceptable! It not by chance that this happens in USA. Look at the statistics: "For 15-year olds to 24-year olds, firearm homicide rates in the United States were 42.7 times higher than in the other countries" http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20571454
Sorry again, but praying will not stop this. Action and organisation will stop it and parents should be the first to shoulder the responsibility
12.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBo Norrman
Bo - Don't be sorry for me not saying "stop." You don't know me. For many of us prayer, action, and organization are not mutually exclusive. In fact, for many of us they go hand in hand. Literally and spiritually.
12.14.2012 | Registered CommenterBrené Brown
Thank you Brene, I've shared this with others.
12.14.2012 | Unregistered Commenterheather
Bo, we're all hurting. For me, prayer is one way that I say stop this. I've seen prayer to be a powerful vehicle for change.
12.14.2012 | Unregistered Commenterheather
Having lost my 22 year-old son to leukemia, I find your advice heartwarming. Turn off the news. I understand how painful this must be for those involved and then being hounded by it on the "special reports" for the next weeks compounds the pain. I am very sorry that people in pain can't find the help and answers they need. Thanks for being one of those "helpers" that continues to work to bring wholeness to people caught in the scarcity of our culture. May they learn a different way.
Blessing & Peace to all whose life was changed today. God give your comfort and courage.
John
12.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn
Today I realized how gratitude is so powerful. It heals and also magnifies the sorrow. I saw my 5 y/o and felt so grateful that she was just there alive and confused by my sudden intensity. I thought of my sister and brother in law, both teachers and their two young children who attend the elementary school across the street from my house. I watched the kids leave their school today. I was so grateful that they all walked out. But that gratitude...it's painful and hard. It is a prayer of sorts. So, I am grateful, but it makes the sorrow more real.
12.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Tieman
Thank you, Brene. I look to my heart-full people during times of despair and heartbreak, and I consider you among this spiritual team. As I was putting my little one to bed tonight, I could hardly keep the tears from breaking through. And as I sat with my eight year old son, I could feel an irritation rise up in me at everything he was doing. I thought about your work on vulnerability and my own work on the ways in which we barricade against surrounding into the soft, underbelly of the heart, and as soon as I recognized that my irritation was a protection against my profound heartbreak and vulnerability, the torrent of tears arrived. The unimaginable has happened for the parents of these slain children. What to do? Prayer, yes. Sending out prayer on the exhale of the grief. And there must be more. I don't know what, but there must be more.
12.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSheryl
After Columbine, we didn't have any kind of resources. My teenager daughter asked me, "if this happens at our school, what should we do? is it better to try to run, or should we hide?" Speechless I stopped for a minute to think about it. My answer? "I really don't know, we never had to worry about this kind of thing." Such a sad, sad world when kids have to worry about what to do if a shooter comes to their schools, and parents have to worry about explaining this kind of thing to their 5 year-olds!
12.14.2012 | Unregistered Commenterkathi
I think often of you during this saddest and most horrifying of all possible confrontations with vulnerability. You are among those helpers Mr. Rogers mentions. Take care of yourself.
12.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Storms
Since my hearing news of the tragedy in CT, the compelling words of the young renowned Jewish diarist have echoed in my head and heart, and I couldn't help but take a moment to find it among my quote and poetry collections. For out of circumstances of great pain and misery, this young gal rose with unbelievable resilience. I find myself sharing many of her sentiments and thoughts on matters and I feel that conveying as much to our own children, balanced with informative articles as you suggest in your blog, is a marvelous way to reach out to the spirit of our children......and our own, as well. Now, the words of Anne Frank: "It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart. I simply can’t build my hopes on a foundation of confusion, misery, and death…and yet…I think…this cruelty will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.....I don't think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains." Included among the beauty of which she speaks, are the helps of which you speak, that reach out to one another. My heart is full-to-the-brim with gratitude for helpers, such as yourself, Brene. Peace, sj
12.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Jayne
Brené, I don't know you, that's true. But I do know your TED talks and your books that have meant a lot to me and that I have shared with people close to me. From that I am totally convinced that you do care and I do subscribe to what you say regarding talking about helpers in a situation like this.
But for me, as an atheist, prayers will give little consolation. Action will. And precisely because what you have shown about yourself in your talks and books, I do hope that you will speak out. As someone posted today "I can not understand why the rights to carry a gun is a greater right than being a child that is allowed to live".
And to me, the phrase "Out thoughts and prayers are with them", to often becomes an empty mantra, that allows the speaker to move on to the next "important" issue. That is why I think that it is now, when people are sad, shocked and mourning, that it is necessary to talk about facts, solutions and actions, to avoid staying in anger and even worse revenge. And the fact is you can do a lot more harm with a gun than with a knife...
http://warincontext.org/2012/12/14/the-difference-between-min-yingjun-and-adam-lanza-a-knife-and-a-gun/
12.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBo Norrman
Thank you Brene. I'm traveling, away from my boys, as all this unfolds. Thank you for posting such great resources and encouragement. I could feel myself exhaling/getting my focus back as I read your kind words. Thank you.
12.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarlotta
Thank you for taking the time to put this together. I'm so thankful for the things you put out into the world. They are healing, they move people forward. This post is one of my favorites. I will be sharing it with all the young mommies I love and work with.
12.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn Monk
Thank you, Brene, and all the participants of this conversation. This right here is an example of prayer, action, and organization all in one. Spreading information, (not fear, as you point out), sharing resources and experiences of struggle/ideas of comfort will have and is having a healing effect. A line from a hymn comforted me as I heard this news and thought of those affected. "[She] knows the angels that you need and sends them to your side to comfort, guard, and guide."

I am so grateful to see responses of love and support pouring out from this horrible tragedy, and that gives me hope for humanity.
12.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn Sass
We are "all" called to take action to end violence. How each of us does that is a personal decision. We can not expect "others" to act in a prescribed way according to our personal expectations. Although I do not know Brene, her lessons of how to live wholeheartedly allow me the freedom to find my own answers to any problems placing no pressure on me to do it "her" way. Being vulnerable extends it's invitation to allow people to respond and react to life's tragedy according to their heart's direction. Your way is not my way and visa versa. In time we will all know what action to take, BTW, prayer is not a passive activity that allows one to move on to another "important" issue as if one's "duty" is done, rather it is a time that makes one face their powerlessness and gives further insight on the next best step to take. Bo, give Brene a break here and all of us out of respect for the the unimaginable grief we feel as a community.
12.16.2012 | Unregistered Commenterfin
26 Moments That Restored Our Faith In Humanity This Year

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/moments-that-restored-our-faith-in-humanity-this-y
12.16.2012 | Unregistered Commenterfin
I am an elementary school teacher in NY. When I read the news I was sitting at my desk in shock. I knew I had to get though the rest of the day calmly with my students. I was fighting back fear and the urge to quit my job and homeschool my young children. And then I came across your status on Facebook, the first part of this post. It ushered in a wave of sensibility amidst serious chaos in my mind and heart. It prompted me to turn Facebook off, turn the news off, and not to seek out the news just yet. But rather to be with my family and pray for those poor, heartbroken families whose suffering I cannot imagine. Thank you for the wisdom to remind your readers that media can be further traumatizing and not healing. I'm so grateful for that advice and for the voice you are, through your books, blog, and podcasts.
12.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMary
It is truly heartbreaking Brene. It is time to hold on to what we have and love it stronger than ever before. Newton's children and teachers are our teachers, our heroes.
12.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua Duggan
Thank you so much, Brene. I heartily echo Carolyn Sass' remarks about the actions you are taking. The simple act of sharing these links has a domino effect to help spread healing throughout the world. As an elementary school teacher, I have been so pleased to be able to use and share these wonderful resources to help children approach this in a healthy, healing manner. Thank you!
12.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterM.A.C.
I'm watching the Interfaith Vigil with President Obama speaking and I can't help but smile, thinking about taking risks with being vulnerable.

"We know that we will each have our share of pleasure and pain. That even after we chase after some earthly goal, whether it's wealth or power or fame or just simple comfort, we will in some fashion fall short of what we hoped. We know that no matter how good our intentions, we'll all stumble sometimes in some way. We'll make mistakes. We'll experience hardships. And even when we are trying to do the right thing, we know that much of our time will be spent groping through the darkness, so often unable to discerne God's heavenly plans. There is only one thing we can be sure of and that is the love that we have."

If that is not daring greatly then I don't know what is. :-)

PS: I love your work, Dr. Brown. I am a mental health therapist and find myself in my own daily practice of allowing vulnerability, as well as encouraging it in my clients. Something had been missing for me for a long time and you helped me find my own light by paying attention to my own shame.. You are amazing and I thank you.
12.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie
I love the Mr Rogers quote. My stomach turned yesterday as I dropped my son off at his small elementary school. Cops were there. My son was scared to go to school. This helps me explain to him that God and good shine through senseless evil.
12.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMargie Askins
I am the parent of an 11yr old boy who attends middle school and this is my comment. The world is changing and we must change with it. The term 'UNARMED AN HELPLESS" comes to mind all the schools and public areas that were attacked are ' GUN FREE ZONES" I am not a big believer in firearms but I do belive in protecting our children by any means possible. Society in entrenched in the belief that our schools are safe from attack. The recent shootings are proof they are not. I do not know of any teacher that would be against being trained to protect their classroom by bearing a firearm. The attacks will continue until someone some someware decides to protect INNOCENT CHILDREN.
12.22.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjames spiros
Your book has literally changed my life. I am very grateful to you. I've known for a long time something held me back as a leader, as a man and that something was my unwillingness to be vulnerable and behind that shame that "I was not enough." Again thank you.
01.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGreg N.
I am a mother, grandmother and lover of connection and commuity. I had a heart attack 6 months ago. I thought I was going to die and I feel more vulnerable as a result. I feel that my heart awakened to deeper sensitivity and love. I was so dreadfully shocked when I saw what happened in Newtown. My tears flowed and I was aware of my great fear and debilitating sadness. Then I felt angry, very angry that this could happen. I watched my mind judge and thoughts of shame and blame fired like lightening bolts towards the shooter and law makers as I tried to discharge feeling my own pain. Underneath my anger was tremendous fear for humanity. I was witnessing my own pain and the insanity of my own mind. My heart was broken again. Then my heart opened and I saw people coming together. Hugging and connecting, tears flowing, caring actions, people doing what they could to help, hearts opening, All over the world people were caring and connecting in a heartfelt vulnerable way that made a difference. I remembered "Out of chaos comes creation". What I wanted to believe with my whole open heart was that the innocents did not die in vain. If I could have turned back the clock or done something to prevent this brutal unbelievable attack I would have. It happened. Unfortunately no denial.Now the question is what can I do,NOW to prevent this from ever happening again. The passing of the innocents has opened the hearts of millions of people and connected whole communities. This is a result of tremendous fear and insanity. Love did prevail as I see it. The solution does not lie in choices made of fear. What would love do? What actions will keep us safe and peaceful? Learning how to connect and communicate dissolves fear and expands love. I am daring greatly right now. I am scared but I wont let that stop me any more, not after this. I feel light for the children and teachers. I feel love for the families and hearts that have broken open through this dark and torturous time. This is a time of change. Insanity is making the same choices and expecting a different result. I am clear that the result I want is peace and harmony for all who are open to that. Individually and collectively the time is now to be the change. It is up to us the people. All we can guarantee is what is currently happening will change. I am willing to change and lighten up for the sake of the children. We are all worth loving, We do all belong. To me this is a time to unify our hearts and our minds. A time for communities to work together to create a stronger, safer place for the people we love to live the life we are here to live. When we work together we can create more safety, more well-being, Together our resources are expanded. My intention is to find the way to be the peace and stop looking for it outside of me. In peace and gratitude and love for the children and humanity. Ann
01.5.2013 | Unregistered Commenterann wright

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.