Monday, December 17, 2012

All a Mess


In the wake of the Newtown school shootings, I find myself crying a few times a day. I didn't know any of the families who lost their precious children. I didn't know the teachers and school staff who were killed. Does it really matter? All I know is that precious lives were taken. Lives that had just begun to flourish.

I heard the news on Friday afternoon when my social media partner sent me a BBM. I was in shock. My heart sank and I wanted to drive to school and pick up my four year old daughter. I just wanted to hold her. Forever.

It's Monday morning and I still cannot believe what happened just days ago. I wonder how people can go back to business again - so soon after the tragedy. I wonder how life can go on. Yet it must. So many lives are forever changed. How does one put the pieces back together after something like this happens?

Little One is only four years old and we haven't spoken to her about the shootings. She just turned four. Personally, I think she's too young to be told about this kind of sadness, gun laws, mental illness, etc. At the same time, I don't want her to be misinformed should she hear things from her peers. Then again, she's in Junior Kindergarten. Not sure if her peers will be aware of this anyway. Regardless, these are things that I think about as a parent.

Have you explained the shootings to your children? If so, how did you explain it to them? What did you tell them?

For tips on how to talk to your children about the school shootings in Newtown, CT, Alyson Schafer has a great post on the PTPA Blog.

8 comments:

Dee said...

i am wondering too about how to talk to my first grader about it. He heard about from his cousin who is only in grade 2. I know my father-in-law told her about it.I just tried to tell him something bad happened and a lot of kids got heard.
I was really angry at first that my FIL would tell an 8 year old about the tragedy, as in my opinion children need to be shielded and protected from this type of thing for as long as possible, i also tell my kids to close their eyes when we drive past car accidents, just in case they may see something nightmare inducing- perhaps I am too over protective or maybe i'm naive and think children can't handle knowing about tragedy and death. I just don't know. In any case, i was at a total loss sending my kids to school today, I also wanted to keep them home and close to me, so much so that they were kind of freaked out by my tighter than normal hugs and tearful kisses good bye today.

Monica said...

My children are grown, but I totally understand how you are feeling. I heard about it late Friday afternoon and was glued to the TV, hoping for a miracle, even though I was pretty sure it wasn't going to happen. It makes me feel sick to think of those beautiful little lives and the brave adults who died trying to protect them. There literally is no way to even begin to comprehend such a horrendous event. My heart aches for everyone.

Little Miss Kate said...

My little guys are too young for this yet, but I am not sure how I would handle it. For myself, I have not watched or read a single news article on the shootings. I feel for the families, but I believe that these events get sensationalized and will not give my ratings/page views to these events

Bonnie Way said...

My daughters are almost 5 and 3, so I'm not worried about explaining it to them (my oldest is in preschool but I doubt that her friends will be talking about it). I would say things like "sometimes bad people do bad things" and "this is why we DO NOT play games with guns or talk about killing other people or animals." I'm sure my 5-year-old would have tons of questions if she did hear about it... she's my inquisitive child. :)

Mama Ash said...

No I haven't spoken to my son about it. He's too young to know about it.
It's been heart breaking for me to see and watch the news.
Such a tragedy and mental illnesses really need to be brought to awareness along with gun control, even though they were his mothers guns and she took her sons target shooting. It is a scary world now.

Christine McN said...

Dee:
Urgh. I hear ya. I think this is something parents should be able to explain to their children rather than them hearing it from elsewhere :(

I gave Little On a big hug when I met her at the bus stop after school. So overwhelming - cannot imagine what those parents are feeling :(

paula schuck said...

I had to tell both of my kids. We walked into the retirement home where my Mom lives now and the seniors were glued to the TV that day. That prompted what is happening and honestly I suck at keeping my feelings to myself. They could both see how sad and upset I was. So I told them facts. I tried to be calm about it. My youngest girl has had a cold and flu bug and honestly she isn't sleeping. I am very certain these things are related.My oldest child is anxious and always has been. I wrote about it recently in Today's Parent magazine. My husband
approaches the world as if he needs to hide things from her to spare her the upset. But the reality is that I know the kids at school talk about it. So what do you do? I had to tell them and I stand by my rationale for explaining it. It is horrible and I'd rather they understood some of the media coming at them because I try to frame it in my words and filter it for them. I wouldn't want them to hear only about it from the grade threes and sixes at school. Everyone is sad and horrified and my oldest girl at first stated - I blame the president of the US. That prompted a big talk about gun control. It's interesting we can chat about this stuff now as she gets older but sad too. She tells me her class debated gun control issues yesterday and she took the side of yes Guns should be controlled and gone from US culture because of this event. Anyways I am still sad as you are to think someone went to a school and did this - schools have to be safe for us as parents and for our kids too. It is unimaginable and horrible and it defies all words to see those sweet little pictures. I feel like crying myself. I am sending you big hugs and hugging my girls closer too.

Paula Schuck
@inkscrblr

Wendy S said...

We haven't talked to the kids about this horrible, horrible act of violence.

Our littlest is only 5 and she won't completely understand. Our 8 year old is such a softy that she would get very upset over this.

Either way, I don't want to scare them or make them upset.

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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