I hugged my own two boys (ages 5 and 7) a little tighter last night and didn’t mention a word about the tragedy at the Boston Marathon. Unfortunately, many of my colleagues and friends in Boston are unable to shield their children from this horrible event as it happened in their own community, in plain sight, in front of many.
The 5 T’s for Tragedy
Turn off the TV! Young children shouldn’t be exposed to world events, especially in the media. If they aren’t aware, try to shield them by keeping TV and computer off when they are home. For older children, or those who are aware, they still don’t need to see the horrific images on the news.
Talk to your children. If you have older children, if your kids may learn about it from others, or if your children have questions, talk to them. It’s better if they hear about the news from you first, rather than on the playground.
Truth matters. As parents, you are your child’s most trusted source so it’s important to always tell the truth. Keep it simple. You don’t have to share all the details, but make sure that what you do say is true.
Tell them you love them. They may already know, but it always helps to hear it again and again. Hugs and kisses help too.
Take time to spend with your children, especially if they are affected by the tragedy. Your time is the best way to reassure them that the world is still safe, and that this was a horrible, but rare event.