This was something I wrote and shared on our MOPS blog right after the Boston bombing. My thoughts on talking to our children about such things–
It seems more and more we are having to be so deliberate to shield our children from never ending bad news. Shooting, war and now a bombing.
I still remember the morning more than a dozen years ago when I turned on the TV just in time to watch live as a plane took out the second tower. It was the first time I knew that I couldn’t hide the bad news from my then five year old, Alison. Minutes later my nightgown wearing barefoot daughter made her way sleepily to the living room. As she snuggled down deep next to me she knew that this morning was different. You don’t necessarily think when you are cradling your baby in your arms that one day you would have to explain evil to them. You are not prepared and I don’t think you can be. It is just one of those jump in head first and pray that what comes out is sufficient enough to be truthful and satisfying without ruining the innocence and wide eyed curiosity that only childhood can yield. How do you remind them the that here and now in my arms or at school or at grandma’s they are safe? I know we need to filter but most of the time it is unavoidable.
Several months ago. Another school shooting. This time it was Brouke’s turn to see what evil looks like. And now, an all American wholesome activity marred by destruction and devastation is plastered everywhere. The horror and destruction is all over the TV and on the lips of every adult.
It is a fine line and letting your kids steer your conversation will generally give you parameters to work with. Kids usually ask great questions and beyond what they ask is most of the time unnecessary. They will clue you in to what is in their heart and how much they can handle. With the little ones be selective, you don’t want to compromise their sense of safety. Older kids will be able to process more but all children will need extra love and reassurance. Speak scripture to them. Remind them not be worry or be anxious (Matthew 6:27) that God will deliver us from our fears (Psalm 34:4). Tell them that God will give them peace and that He is in control (Phillipians4:6-7). Remind them for every bad person their are thousands of good people. Let them get involved in making the world a better place by giving them opportunities to serve others and their community. It helps channel all their fears and gives them a sense of control over their environment. Mostly, trust your instincts. God gave you the children you have for a reason.
~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~
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