The deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn. left many parents unsure about how to address the tragedy with their children.
A post on the Our Kids Facebook page netted the following responses from local parents about whether they planned to talk to their kids about the incident and if so, what did they plan to say. Some parents did not plan to talk about the incident, citing the young age of their children, while others seemed to feel the need to talk to their kids, but just did not know what to say.
Monica Trevino wrote: “I will not tell them details, but I will say there are now 20 little angles that went to heaven and we will pray for their families.”
Marjorie Kleiber, a school bus driver, wrote: “I was glad none of the kids asked anything on the bus this afternoon because I did not know what to tell them.”
Shanon Miranda Pruden wrote: “No. Mine are too little for that. But I will hug them a little tighter and I made them a special dinner... They didn't ask why which warms my heart that my behavior doesn’t seem unusual. That community is in my thoughts and prayers... May God shine a light where there is clearly darkness.”
Veronica 'Serna' Taylor said: “This is my struggle. My daughter is 7 and does not know what happened. I'm debating if I should tell her and if I do I have no idea what say. To say I'm without words would be an understatement.”
Celeste Garcia-Villarreal wrote: “My oldest is 8yrs and my middle one is 4yrs. Neither has mentioned anything yet..just not sure what to say since I'm still processing the whole thing myself.”
Cynthia Kim says: “Nope. My oldest is in kinder. She didn't see or hear about it. I have no plans on telling her. If she had seen or heard about it, I would talk to her about it age appropriately..that bad things happen sometimes. There is no good reason why. That this person made a very bad choice and did a very bad thing. But I would reassure her that she is safe and everything is gonna be OK. And to let her know she can pray or talk about it. And however she feels, sad or scared or confused or angry, is OK.”
Georgina A. Anguiano-Elliott wrote: “We were actually home and watched the news. My child is 8. We talked about ‘what if’ scenarios. My child explained the lockdown drills. I also explained the importance of staying calm and listening to the teacher. It is sad and my heart hurts for all involved.”
April Shields-Lumpkins “Thankfully my kids haven't asked me anything yet. I know I cried all the way home and hugged my kids tightly when I got here. I couldn't fathom the sadness and pain those families are going through.”
What follows are some tips offered by child experts.