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Columbine. Las Vegas Rt. 91. Sandy Hook. Robb Elementary School. These shootings (and sadly, so many more) are seared into our public consciousness. I can still remember where I was when the news about Columbine broke. For many Post-Traumatic Parents, the thought of mass violence or school shootings is terrifying, because who knows better than us just how unsafe the world is? Even if our trauma wasn’t about mass violence, the unsafe feeling trauma leaves behind affects us. 


In this deeply moving episode, the women of Survivors Path talk about the courage it takes to parent after being in a mass casualty event, the way trauma leaves a long shadow on our lives, and how to go on. This episode is all about the “M” of our “AIM” model for coping with trauma – making a mission and meaning out of it. For Survivors Path, that mission is supporting other survivors. Trigger warning – this episode does talk about mass violence, shooting, death, and the death of children. I’m deeply honored to have Survivors Path on the Post-Traumatic Parenting podcast and I can’t wait for you to listen to the episode.


More about Survivors Path:

Michelle Wheeler is a survivor of the Columbine High School Shooting. She was a teacher for 21 years and now she’s an instructional coach for a public school here in Colorado. Michelle is married for 20 years and she has one daughter that attends Columbine High School.


Amy Over is the founder of Survivors Path, host of Confronting Columbine, and Columbine survivor. She has a wonderful husband of 20 years and four awesome children. She’s also the sales and marketing coordinator at Rumble Boxing.


Amber Brown is a survivor of the Las Vegas Rt. 91 shooting on Oct 1st. 2017. She has an 11-year-old son, a fiancé, and 2 fur children. She’s originally from California but has lived in Denver for 12 years. Amber is a Change & Knowledge Manager for Elevatjons Credit Union and spends most of her free time serving survivors with The Rebels Project and Survivors Path


Hayley Steinmuller is a Route 91 Las Vegas shooting survivor and firmly believes that trauma should be a reason, not an excuse. Hayley was in graduate school to become a school counselor when she survived the largest mass shooting in US history.


In this episode, we talk about:

  • What is it like to be a parent who has experienced trauma themselves and how it affects interactions with their children
  • The impact of trauma on their parenting journey, including panic attacks, anxiety, and navigating their children’s exposure to violence
  • The challenges of being a post-traumatic parent: setting boundaries, navigating difficult conversations with their children, and dealing with children’s exposure to violence in the media
  • Why should you teach children the reasons behind rules
  • The judgment faced by mass shooting survivors in handling their experiences and the challenges of navigating through trauma-related fears
  • Coping with stress and trauma through dissociation and its drawbacks
  • Anticipatory anxiety and the aftermath of anniversaries related to traumatic events
  • The importance of support, friendship, and solidarity among mass violence survivors
  • Finding acceptance, integrating trauma into one’s identity, and creating meaning and purpose in life as part of the healing process
  • Recognizing and respecting children’s interests and desires while discussing the consequences and responsibilities
  • How to have open communication and provide a safe space for discussing difficult topics with children
  • Recognizing that it’s okay not to know every detail of a child’s experience and allowing them to advocate for them something


Connect with Robyn:


Connect with Survivors Path:


More about Post Traumatic Parenting:

“How can I give my kids a normal childhood, when mine was anything but?” Post-Traumatic Parenting is the podcast for anyone who has ever asked themselves that question. Robyn Koslowitz, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, and Post-Traumatic Parent, combines the fields of post-traumatic recovery and growth with our best understanding of how to raise Little Humans. Through interviews with experts in the fields of behavior science, psychology, trauma, and child development, as well as interviews with toy developers, children’s book authors, and anyone else who makes childhood a delight, Dr. Koslowitz explores how trauma impacts our parenting, and how to hack our traumas into superpowers and super-parenting.


Each week, Dr. Koslowitz unpacks how to survive and thrive as a Post-Traumatic Parent. She shares behind-the-scenes insights into the research that underlies what we know about parenting, child development, and trauma recovery. Each podcast provides actionable tips about how to transform our Post-Traumatic Parenting and how to turn our parenting journey into a post-traumatic growth experience. Dr. Koslowitz interviews some of the famous names in these fields, and some experts you’ve never heard of (but should have!). Ready to go from survivor to thriver? Ready to become the parent you’ve always dreamed of being? Join us!