Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Reposts: What to Tell Children About Tragedy

Once again, we're reeling from tragedy. So I'll post links to articles related to "what do you tell the kids about the [insert act of violence or disaster here].

Words of Comfort After Connecticut Shootings
What to Tell the Kids About the Connecticut Shootings
Hurricane Sandy: What to Tell the Kids
Disasters in the News: How to Help Your Family Cope

Overall, be thoughtful of what you tell your child about the Boston Marathon bombing and pay attention to how he or she is processing it.

After the Newtown shootings, I chose not to tell my eight year-old daughter about what happened, but she learned all about it from the kids at school. So this morning, before school, I told her about the Boston Marathon bombing. She didn't ask me many questions except if we knew who did it. Then she commented about how she was worried about her new unit in math.

She has her own set of worries that take center stage in her life right now. She's lucky. Others, like my sweet nephew, experience a lot of anxiety related to these huge news events. He was so concerned after the Newtown shootings that my mother found him sleeping with a knife; he was so worried about an intruder that he wanted to protect himself and his young siblings.

I'm sad today. In one year alone we've had movie shootings, school shootings, mall shootings, bombings in public places and other acts of violence. I wonder what kind of world we are living in now, and what kind of world my daughters are growing up in. If these past 12 months are indication, it will be a world in which mass violence is commonplace, something we have no choice except to tolerate and "overcome." It's hard to see an end in sight.

Most of all, I'm sad for all the children and families that have been terrorized and victimized in Boston.

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