How to Talk to Children about the Tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary
Now that Monday is here, parents have to send their kids to school with heavy hearts. There's no doubt that a lot of parents are questioning their children's safety at school after Friday's tragedy. Now, parents are faced with talking to their children about what happened.
I was in middle school when the Columbine shooting took place. I was absolutely terrified that something like that was going to happen at my school. I was so afraid that I wouldn't leave the classroom for a drink of water or to use the restroom. I would try to fake being sick so I wouldn't have to go to school at all. I wanted to share that with all of you because although I do not have kids of my own, I remember what it was like to be a kid and hear about a school shooting and how it affected me.
My parents helped me out tremendously. They knew that I was seeing the news stories and that kids at school were talking about it so they could not shelter me from what happened. They made me feel like I could come to them with my fears and talked me through it as best as they knew how. They even set up a few counseling sessions which helped me overcome my fear of being at school.
I don't believe there is any reason to narrate what happened to small children who have no idea what took place. However, I think it is important to ask them if they have heard anything and to ask them if they have any questions. It will be important for parents to be open to that conversation at home because I am sure many schools will be discussing the tragedy to a certain extent.
It is most important that we make the children in our lives feel safe. It is such a shame that we have to be afraid of the safety of children at school. How will you help your children feel at ease after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary?