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Parenting Workshops

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Parenting in the Storm:
Helping Our Kids Through the Pandemic
Addressing Teasing and Bullying: A Guide for Parents
Talking to Kids About Scary Things: School Shootings, Suicide, and Trauma

Parenting in the Storm:
Helping Our Kids Through the Pandemic


Let’s face it, things haven’t been easy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of us have experienced financial hardships, fear and worry about an uncertain future and struggles to keep up with the pace of school and work during a time of intense pressure and uncertainty. We’d like to invite you to join our expert panel to address the stress, challenges and difficulties faced by parents and students during the pandemic and offer some practical advice and solutions as your children head back to school.

InterACTT consultants Dr. Brian Van Brunt, Dr. Tammy Hodo, and David Denino shared some practical guidance from their areas of expertise. Dr. Van Brunt has been a practicing counselor, child and family therapist and has lectured on issues of mental illness and threat assessment. Dr. Hodo brings years of experience as an instructor and speaker on issues of diversity, racial tensions, and sociology. David Denino has been a practicing director of counseling for college students for decades and is involved in American Red Cross leadership and on-site response to disasters from Katrina to Sandy Hook. Together, they present on the challenges facing us all, with a specific attention to the unique challenges of raising a child in today’s pandemic landscape.

Several kids wearing face masks waiting in a line outside a classroom

Parents in the program were provided:

  • An awareness of how elementary, middle, and high school children react to chronic stress, financial tensions, and academic and career uncertainty

  • Clear and practical advice on what helps (and what doesn’t)

  • Guidance on what to look for in terms of more serious concerns such as acting out, aggressive behavior and suicide

  • A review of how people have experienced the pandemic differently when it comes to issues of culture, privilege, and access to services (such as transportation, food, shelter, and medical care)

The program was offered live over Zoom on Wednesday, September 29, 2021.

Some Tips from Our Presenters

Video Recording of the Workshop

Addressing Teasing and Bullying:
A Guide for Parents

Worried your child is being bullied or teased at school? Unsure of how to help? This discussion offered some practical advice with useful handouts and checklists to help to keep your child safe at home, at school, and online.

This program addressed the challenges of talking to your children about bullying and teasing behavior that occurs in school, with friends, and online. We shared with parents the warning signs to look for, how to talk about these issues with their children, and the importance of understanding how a variety of factors such as race, poverty, religious background, language skills, cognitive ability, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, and weight may make children targets for teasing and bullying. This interactive program drew from parents’ experiences to ensure the conversation is two-sided and we all are able to learn from each other’s experiences. Participants were able to:

A young girl sitting crossed-legged on the floor, looking down sadly
  • Learn signs and symptoms of bullying and teasing common at school and how these may also occur in the online environment.

  • Receive practical advice on how to build culturally competent resiliency and protective factors to help protect your children from the impact of bullying and teasing.

  • Review what to look for and how to respond when bullying and teasing occurs and increases the risk of self-harm or suicidal behaviors.

  • Receive handouts, checklists, and online resources to respond to problems you may encounter that will help them move more quickly to find a solution.

The program was offered live over Zoom on Wednesday, March 30, 2022.

Video Recording of the Workshop

The Kareem Abdul-Jabbar post discussed during the workshop:

Link to a blog post by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar about the Will Smith/Chris Rock Oscars incident
Talking to Kids About Scary Things:
School Shootings, Suicide, and Trauma


What should you say to your child following a school shooting? How do you talk to them following the death of a friend or when they experience trauma? Join us for some practical advice and a discussion with parents on this important issue.

This program addressed how to talk to kids after large critical incidents like school shootings, suicide or other traumas occur. This practical and interactive workshop offered help to parents tp better prepare for these conversations with expert advice. Drawing from best practices in trauma response and culturally informed interventions, the workshop offered practical advice and guidance to the parents of primary and secondary students to help their kids right after the trauma and in the days and months that follow.

Several police cars lined up next to several school buses
  • Learn the importance of preparing to have these conversations beforehand and the importance of genuineness and authenticity in your response.

  • Discuss how to talk about your children’s concerns from a culturally informed perspective which is tailored to developmental stages. 

  • Receive handouts, practical lists, online resources, and examples scripts to use when talking to your children

  • Have the opportunity to share with other parents who have experience in walking through these experiences with their children.

The program was offered live over Zoom on Wednesday, April 20, 2022.

Additional Resources

Participant Guide

Disaster and Trauma Responses of Children

Disaster and Trauma Effects on Parents

Suicide Assessment

Action Steps for Helping Someone in Emotional Pain

Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers

African American Youth Suicide Report

Talking to Children About Violence: Tips For Families and Educators

Tips for Talking to Children in Trauma

Frequently Asked Questions about Suicide

Hablarles a los niños sobre violencia: consejos para padres y educadores

Warning Signs of Suicide

Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth after the Recent Shooting

Tips for Talking to Children and Youth After Traumatic Events

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Thank you

Our Team

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Dr. Brian Van Brunt

Brian Van Brunt, Ed.D.

As an internationally recognized expert in behavioral intervention, threat assessment and mental illness, and instructional design, Brian (he/him/his) will bring you the information you need to better protect your school environment from harm. Author of over a dozen books, Brian has spent time as child and family therapist, university professor and a partner at a violence and sexual assault prevention law firm. He currently serves as the creative director at D-Prep and the president of InterACTT.

This program is funded by the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance.

Questions or concerns? Email

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