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Talking To Kids About The Connecticut Shootings
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Talking to Kids About the Connecticut Shootings

I have struggled where to publish this but I decided this is a good place and it can be passed on to those that you would like to see it.

In the aftermath of the killings in Connecticut on Friday, there is so much talk about it that our children and grandchildren have probably heard about it. There are things that we can do to help them cope with this tragedy and hopefully help them to feel secure that we will take care of them.

1. Hear what they have to say. Listen

If your child or grandchild wants to tell you what they were told about what happened in Connecticut, let them tell you in their own words. They may be bouncing all over the place, but listen so you can help them sort it out. If they have false information or they are misinterpreted it, it will give you an opportunity to give them correct information on their level of understanding.

2. Pray.

If you believe in praying, this can really be a comfort to a child. Listen, so you have get an idea on what the they are feeling about what they have heard. Pray with your child or grandchild. This will show them that God is there to help them and to help the victims' families to accept this horrible thing that has happened. Make sure that when you pray, you pray on their level of understanding. You don't have to use big words and the prayer does not have to be a long one. God knows what is in your heart. Help the child by keeping it short and even pray that God will ease their thoughts and heart about this matter.

3. Be truthful. Don't pretend to have all the answers.

We rarely have all the answers to anything. Sharing that you are working through what has happened and understand how they feel, is a positive thing for them. If they ask why, you can tell them you don't know why this young man did what he did and that we may never know why, but we can heal. Tell them that it crushed your heart and that you were tearful when you heard what happened.

4. Allow them to show their emotions.

Your child or grandchild may be mad, angry, or sad. Do not squelch their feelings. If they are not allowed to have those feelings today, eventually, those feelings will surface. It might not manifest in the way you would find acceptable, so help them to deal with the feelings and to know that they are normal. We are allowed to have these feelings as long as we express them in the appropriate manner. Here is a good teaching time.

5. Short answers are best.

When a child asks such a serious question about something like this we want to make sure we give them the correct information. Don't give them a dissertation Your answers should be short. That's all they really want or need right now. If they have more questions, just answer their questions. No need to answer questions they don't have. They are asking you questions now, they will come back if they have other questions. Don't confuse them with information they don't ask for.

6. Don't put your reactions on the child.

Be careful with what you say to them, in front of them, or what they may overhear. Children need calm and not drastic reactions. We know this is drastic, but like in all drastic events, we need to remain calm.

7. Assure them that you will do everything in your power to keep them safe.

Let them know that you love them and you will do whatever you need to, to keep them safe. If it is school they are asking about, tell them of all the safety measures you know of that the school takes to keep them safe.

8. Watch for children who display extreme anxiety over this incident.

If you are a grandparent or another adult that doesn't live with the child, you see that child in a different environment than the parents do. When they are away from home you may see anxiety that the parent wouldn't see. Talk privately with the parent if you notice a child is displaying reactions beyond that of the other children.

9. Remind them that this was NOT from God.

I have seen postings all over the internet, people saying that God did this because we have taken God out of the schools. Come on! These people need to be careful trying to attribute this madness to God. My God would never make this happen to children. Most kids understand that there is evil in the world. Help kids understand that there is evil in the world, and it was that evil that brought this about.

In my heart I cannot even imagine what I would do if this happened to my children or grandchild. All I do know is that it s a sad tragedy and it is our job to take care of our children and help them through this. My prayers go up for those affected directly by this sad tragedy.

God Bless You and Keep You

Joyce aka Nana

Street Talk

Excellent points for a difficult subject with sensitive young minds on the line. Good job.

  about 8 years ago

Good advice, thanks!

  about 8 years ago
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