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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 24, 2007
    Location
    small town, Ohio
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    613

    Default Do you talk to your elementary aged kids about this? If so, HOW?

    I know my son saw me crying today; and although I went into another room to talk, I know he heard me tell my mom on the phone that I went back to the school and spent the afternoon there (today was our holiday shop and I worked the AM but after going home and seeing the news I went back and worked the afternoon too) because I wanted to be in the building with him.

    I am sure he overheard all the parents and teachers whispering and probably caught some of the conversation.

    And I'm sure there will be a lockdown drill on Monday.

    I feel like I can't hide it but I don't know how to tell him or how much to tell him. I don't want him to be afraid at school but I do want him to be aware how important it is to take drills seriously and obey orders exactly because you never know if it really could be life or death.

    Help?
    Rhythm the perfect OTTB;Spock the will-be perfect OTTB;Mia the Arab/appendix COTH giveaway



  2. #2

    Default

    Be honest. Tell him a really bad thing happened. Ask him if he's heard anything about it.

    Depending on his age, and how hard he's been impacted, art therapy is great for little ones who can't really verbalize what they are feeling.

    Older kids may benefit from journaling, poetry, music, or just talking. Some kids may have been impacted hard enough that they'll need therapy.

    Let him deal with it his way. He doesn't have to feel badly about it. He might be sad for a day and completely forget about it. That's ok, especially if you are far removed from it. Don't have any pre-concieved notion of how he "should" feel.

    You know your kid - trust your instincts.
    http://www.tbhsa.com/index.html

    Originally Posted by JSwan
    I love feral children. They taste like chicken.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2011
    Posts
    1,435

    Default

    I'm going through this with my oldest today who heard about it. He's 7, and I just can't figure out how to answer the questions he's asking about it. He just can't understand that someone would be so evil to shoot innocent children. He keeps asking what the kids did wrong.

    This link was posted on the other thread, so hoping by tomorrow I'll be better able to answer his questions: http://www.pbs.org/parents/talkingwi...s/talking.html



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 1, 2012
    Location
    with Alfonso Spagoni, the toreador. NOT in a ticky tacky box!
    Posts
    102

    Default

    I don't have kids, tho I did have sibs MUCH younger than me. I would tell them as little as they ask.

    For the OP, I would just say something bad happened at a school far away, that made Mommy want to be near you.

    MM- Tell him the truth, they did nothing wrong. Don't say it was random, that makes munchkins worry it could happen to them. Again, I say, tell the
    truth, know one knows why just yet.
    This is so new, I don't think anyone knows how to answer. Just be vague. Give loads of cuddles

    Best of luck
    CFF


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 24, 2007
    Location
    small town, Ohio
    Posts
    613

    Default

    MM, thanks for the link. CFF, I understand only telling them as little as they ask, and I agree that's a great way to go.

    But my son is 9 and way too smart and curious for his own good. So I am afraid of the (mis)information he will walk into at school on Monday and I feel like I need to prepare him with at least the basics. Is that wrong and unnecessarily harsh for a 9yo?

    With all our animals death is not unfamiliar to him and he deals with it well. But he's never been exposed to senseless violence, particularly amongst children around his own age.

    I just don't know how to introduce this. Or not to at all (but again, I think it will hit him front and center on Monday, given the mentality of the principal and staff today).

    Should I wait and answer his questions or bring it up as a topic we need to talk about (in an age appropriate fashion?)

    I so wish we never had to talk about these things at all because they should never ever happen.
    Rhythm the perfect OTTB;Spock the will-be perfect OTTB;Mia the Arab/appendix COTH giveaway



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    6,812

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by IveGotRhythm View Post
    Should I wait and answer his questions or bring it up as a topic we need to talk about (in an age appropriate fashion?)
    Just ask him if he wants to talk about it and respect his answer either way. Chances are if he's as precocious as you say, he'll say "Yes, I want to talk about it." If you think you aren't sure how best to proceed, imagine being 9 years old and wondering how this sort of thing is handled.

    I also think with some kids, especially older kids--maybe 10 years old and up, but possibly a precocious 9 year old too--it would be useful to tell them that there's something they can do to help: if any of their friends seem very sad or start talking about things that frighten them, they should tell an adult as soon as possible because that friend needs help and adults can help that friend get help. It's up to you whether you elaborate on the fact that the US Secret Service has profiled dozens upon dozens of school shooters, and almost to a fault, the shooter told a friend/peer of similar age about their plans shortly before they took action. Most of the time, those friends either said nothing or egged the shooter on. The odds that there will be a school shooting in your neighborhood are one in a million, but the odds that your child attends school with a depressed or troubled child is much, much higher. Just knowing that they can approach adults with these sorts of topics can be empowering to children, and it's one of the compelling reasons to have a conversation about this school shooting--not because of the shooting per se, but because your child will then understand that you are willing to talk about such confusing and difficult topics.

    Good luck. It's definitely not easy. I was talking with some kids today (albeit a little older than 9) and I admitted to them that it's hard for us adults to understand it all too.

    The link above is great. I also like this blog post by LeVar Burton.
    https://readingrainbowblog.wordpress...ool-shootings/
    ________________________
    Resident COTH saddle nerd. (CYA: Not a pro, just a long-time enthusiast!)
    http://twitter.com/jenlmichaels


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 24, 2007
    Location
    small town, Ohio
    Posts
    613

    Default

    jn4jenny, thanks for the advice and especially for the link. The link said something to the effect of "kids know when you're hiding something' and that's very true here (nothing gets past my son). He asked- after eavesdropping on my out of the room conversation with my mom about where the bad guy was and why I needed to be at the school. I was so unprepared that I just said that there was no bad guy anywhere near him and that we would talk about it later.

    I am thinking that my son and I need to have a breakfast date.
    Rhythm the perfect OTTB;Spock the will-be perfect OTTB;Mia the Arab/appendix COTH giveaway



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    6,812

    Default

    Another good one that just crossed my Facebook feed. This one is from Mister Rogers.
    http://www.fci.org/new-site/par-tragic-events.html
    ________________________
    Resident COTH saddle nerd. (CYA: Not a pro, just a long-time enthusiast!)
    http://twitter.com/jenlmichaels


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2004
    Location
    Rixeyville, VA
    Posts
    6,520

    Default

    I think it is as simple as talking to your kid when the kid asks. And knowing that there is no real answer.

    I am really dating myself, but I remember being in elementary school when JFK was assassinated. We had a TV in the room and heard the news that way. I remember talking to my parents about it because the entire thing was very confusing and the world seemed to fall apart.

    Fast forward, 9/11 rolls around and IF Jr is 7. No TV reports played in school. The kids were sent home without any official statement but of course kids have a way of finding out things. I asked him what he had heard, let him see a few moments of the TV footage, and then let it go. He wanted to play and watch cartoons. That was fine with me. He would ask later.

    Fast forward a few years, we have the DC sniper on the loose. This sniper shoots a kid going to school, among other things. Now that one was hard because it went on for weeks with the sniper at large, everyone was a potential target, and the information available was sketchy. I repeated that we can't be ruled by fear, that we had to go forward with our lives, and that things would work out. I'm sure I said it as much for me as for him.
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com



  10. #10
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2011
    Posts
    1,435

    Default

    Thanks for the additional links! They really helped.



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