My heart aches for the victims of today's bombings; many of whom were children. Below is information from Parent's magazine about how best to address this topic with your children. My peace be with each of you. Love Jennifer
The news of the explosions at the Boston Marathon once again necessitates that parents take control of what their kids will hear and see. Here are a few key points to keep in mind.
Be aware that coverage (TV and online) of these explosions – and the coverage will be continuous and extensive – will have some graphic footage.
There are recordings of when the explosions happened. There are images
of injured people on stretchers. You will see the aftermath which can be
disturbing. It will be on TV. It will be online. Keep this in mind in
terms of what your kids will see. Kids of any age will find this
disturbing. It’s a good idea to monitor your kids now so you can be in
control of what they see – and be on the ready to switch off quickly if
there are things they shouldn’t see.
In addition to footage, remember that interviews will contain graphic talk.
People will be describing what they saw and heard. Many will be
distressed. The talk may be graphic and reference fatalities. Online,
you will read quotes by witnesses. Again, you might want to actively
screen this information.
While shielding your kids from footage and conversation that is upsetting, it’s also important that you be the source of information for them. You can explain things in the best way possible without deviating from being honest. Keep your descriptions short and factual (“Yes something bad happened. Some people were hurt.”) without going into much expansion. Allow your kids to ask you questions and answer exactly what they are asking. For example, if they ask if anyone died, you can simply answer “Yes” and see if they ask anything else. Try to be calm and in control
even though these catastrophes rattle all of us. Even though we can’t
assure our kids that we can keep them safe every second of the day, we
do want them to feel safe with us and have some sense of control.
Finally, be aware that your kids may have questions for awhile, as
this tragedy will undoubtedly be in the news for some time. Keep the
lines of communication open and be ready to have frequent and short conversations
about it – kids may have a question here or there and they are only
looking for an immediate answer to it. You can rely on your knowledge
about your kid’s personality, but do bear in mind that kids typically
don’t want the level of detail that we adults would pursue.
And of course do what you do best – hug your kids. That will speak volumes.