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Talking to Kids About Bad Things

April 18, 2013

American Flag, flag with snow, talking to kids about bad things, praying for Boston, talking to kids about Boston Marathon, answering kids tough questions, answering kids quesitons, flag half staffTalking to kids about bad things is difficult for parents, especially as we grapple ourselves to find meaning in the meaningless, the horrific.

Mr. Rogers said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are.” Angels among us, it’s so true.

Can we find a silver lining amidst these horrors?

I am always an optimist and am continually warmed by humanity and the generous, boundless, selfless outpourings of love and kindnesses in the face of terror and disaster. We saw it in Boston, in Newtown, in New York, in Haiti, in Sandy, in Katrina, in Texas ….

How do we find our own center to be able to talk to our kids about bad things? How is it possible to make sense of something that makes no sense? And that’s where I start with my kids.

Keeping their ages in mind is always important and knowing their personalities to be able to gauge what they are able to hear and what they need to hear.

If you read this blog regularly, you know that I parent from a place of truthfulness and openness with my kids: about where babies come from, about sex and about bad things. They see me cry, I explain; I share my emotions and disbelief, my grief and my anger. I believe in answering kids tough questions head-on and honestly. But also age-appropriately.