Helping our children to process the tragedy in Boston.
It is no surprise that one of the most-shared quotes in the wake of the horrific bombing in Boston was
wisdom from the ever-reliable Mr. Rogers, who 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 helping.’ “
I count myself among the fortunate in that a.) I was not personally affected by the bombings in that I do not know anyone who was hurt or injured and b.) My son is too young for me to have to address it with him. He’s not even 2 and protecting him from it is as easy as making sure the TV is not on while he is awake. I do not have to explain to him why an 8-year old boy is dead, while his mother and his sister lie in a hospital, and his father and his brother look on in grief.
Countless others are not so fortunate, and my heart just aches for everyone directly affected by what’s happened, including those who were there, and though perhaps physically unhurt, are undoubtedly very traumatized by what they witnessed.
Talking to children about inexplicable violence is so difficult because we ourselves are struggling to make sense of it. We will never understand how anybody could do this and no answer will ever satisfy us.
All the experts agree that the best things you can do are to listen to them, control as best you can what they see and hear, and answer their questions in age-appropriate ways. Additionally, we can follow Mr. Rogers lead and point out to them that even in the face of such horror, there is always good. As Patton Oswalt so eloquently stated yesterday, “When you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, ‘The good outnumber you, and we always will.’ “
There are always helpers when tragedy strikes. There are always good people who leap to respond and do what they can to alleviate suffering. Some days may be unbearable, but there will always be beautiful days in the neighborhood.
By V.K. Harber
About V.K. Harber
V.K. Harber is a yogi, writer and mother of one. She is the co-founder and former managing director of Samdhana-Karana Yoga: A Healing Arts Center in Tacoma, WA, a non-profit yoga studio.She currently resides in Seoul, South Korea where she works as a yoga teacher and post-partum doula. (www.vkharber.com) She is also a contributing writer at World Moms Blog and can be found on twitter @VKHarberRYT.