December 18, 2012

Talking to Kids About Tragedy

Today, First 5 San Joaquin released an online toolkit with resources on how to talk with children about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School - to help them process what grownups themselves struggle to wrap their heads around. It's a well-balanced and very thoughtful collection of printable handouts and tip sheets. I like especially that it addresses parents' fears too: "Are your kids scared to go back to school? Are you scared to let them go?"

I am sure that it has never occurred to my sweet Alice that anything really terrible happens in this world. She is 2. Almost 3. Her greatest fears - as recited to her father and I every night at bedtime - are firetrucks, motorcycles and ambulances.

In other words, loud noises.

I know just how fortunate that makes her - and us.

We are - God, help us - our daughter's best protection against harm and want. But we are also the chief custodians of her joy. I believe it is our duty, not just to show her what is right and good, but to teach her that those things that are right and good are worth nurturing and protecting. With all the fight in our hearts.
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