The Tragedy Talk…Again

My 13-year-old has a lot to say about the Boston Marathon tragedy. Boston is our home. Frightening how close that word Marathon is to Massacre.

“Why does this keep happening to our country?” she said to me when she first heard about the explosions.

“What sick person would do this?”

tearsShe was barely two-years-old when 9/11 rocked our world. Now she reads about terrorists in history books. And in the past 18 months, she has witnessed far too many horrific events unfold in the media, on Twitter and Instagram.

“I’m scared mom,” she said to me last night. “First it’s Iraq and Iran. Then it’s New York. Then Connecticut. Now Boston. It’s getting closer. I know people who were there, who got hurt, who are in the hospital. I’m scared it will be our house next.”

She is part of a generation of tweens and teens who have grown up seeing tragedy and terrorism as part of life. Many know airports to be security cages. They’ve learned locked-down procedures at school. This year, they will probably remember their 4th of July celebration by the high level of security guards, police, and dogs – instead of the fireworks.

Less than a year ago, I wrote about talking to kids about tragedy. Begin by reassuring them that they are safe with you. Keep media exposure to a minimum, if at all for kids under 7. It also helps to remind kids that there is mostly good in the world, even when bad things happen. Lots of experts out there provide perspective and detailed tips on talking with kids of all ages:

dog don't hur themDespite the bright blue sky in Boston today, a heavy, ugly cloud hangs overhead. We’ll pray for the victims, their families and friends, and our heroic first responders. We’ll hug our kids tighter, attend our community vigil,
and wish we could do more.

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