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How Should You Talk About the Connecticut School Shooting with Your Children?

27 people, 18 of them children, are reported dead in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, according to Newtown Patch. What will you say to your children?

Parents' hearts are in their throats in Lawrenceville and across the country as news spreads of an elementary school shooting in Connecticut that reportedly took the lives of 18 children and nine adults.

Newtown Patch in Connecticut is posting live updates about the shooting, which was reportedly carried out by a single adult who is now dead.

The incident will raise questions about how future such massacres can be prevented. It will also require parents everywhere to figure out how to discuss the violence with their children, many of whom will be returning to their schools next week.

Parenting.com offers advice for discussing tragic incidents with children. Among the suggestions:

  • Don't bring frightening issues up with children under 7, but be prepared to discuss them if your child asks.
  • Reassure your small children that they are safe. Even though you know you can't guarantee it, admitting ambiguity won't be helpful.
  • Ask questions to make sure you understand how your children are feeling, and assure them their feelings are OK.

The New York Times parenting blog offers a dialogue and a video about discussing violent and scary incidents with your kids.

Do you plan to discuss the shooting with your children? How will you go about it? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Sue December 14, 2012 at 08:35 PM
I will not only discuss it...but will show them this video. http://www.readyhoustontx.gov/videos/runhidefight-eng.m4v They need to know how to protect themselves...I don't trust our school district to do it...they don't even have an emergency response plan! The principal sent an email to parents moments ago telling them not to let the children see news coverage...nor discuss it with them!!! OUTRAGEOUS!
Becky December 17, 2012 at 03:48 PM
THANK YOU for sharing that video. Everyone needs to see it... if only the part about not interfering with the first responders & understanding what their role is.

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