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Connecticut School Shooting: How to Discuss 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 across the country as news spreads of an elementary school shooting in Connecticut that reportedly took the lives of 20 children and seven adults.

Newtown Patch in Connecticut is posting live updates about the shooting, and will continue to follow the story this weekend.

But for those of us in Dearborn, Michigan, and the rest of the country, 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.

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.

Lee Jacobsen December 17, 2012 at 04:29 PM
My child will soon be taking a Concealed Weapons Permit class to enable her to protect herself. Hopefully, she can upgrade it to a level where she can carry and protect others in churches, malls, restaurants, schools, all currently free shooting zones for folk with scrambled brains. If your brain is not working right, you ignore laws. A crazy person shoots people if the mood strikes them to do so. The crazy in CT shot himself when he knew offensive weapons were coming his way. If those teachers, principals, the ones who wanted to carry, were armed, they could have shot back through the closet doors and , who knows, the crazy would have stopped and shot himself on the spot, saving many lives. Return fire on the site is the only option that would have stopped this guy. In the end, fear made him take his own life, that fear should have occurred much sooner. A good example, incredible as it may seem, is Detroit. With slow police response, more folk are arming themselves. This puts fear into the robbers, who move to easy pickings like victims in Dearborn who are less likely to be armed, rather than rob fellow Detroiters, who are more likely to shoot back. Use some common sense. If you are a crazy, and want to kill folk with a gun, would you go into a police station to do it, or a gun free zone like a church, school, mall, theater, restaurant? The facts speak for themselves. Time to make all areas more like police stations, with trained folk to shoot back.

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