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Peggy O'Mara 07-20-2012 10:22 AM

In light of the Colorado shootings, I wanted to share some resources for talking to our children about traumatic events. For the most part, I don't think we should burden them with too much information when they are under school age. But, when they hear about things outside the home, they could need our help.


This is a good article by Peter Levine about talking to children about traumatic events. It's more about personal events, but is helpful nonetheless.


And, a video by Peter describing trauma.


Here's a nice piece from the Child Mind Institute.


And, here's a sweet guide for parents and educators about specifically talking about shootings, etc. Arranged by age.


And, here's a review of the Dark Knight Rises from Commonsense Media; they say it's appropriate for 14-year-olds and older.


Hope this helps in some way.

QueenOfTheMeadow 07-23-2012 05:47 AM

Thanks, Peggy. 


It's always to hard to talk to my kids about this stuff, because I always end up crying.  I was in labor with ds1 during the Columbine shootings, and I think that scared the heck out of me.  For school, the kids had to research what happened on the day they were born, and of course that was the first article that came up.  We had some great conversations about why it might have happened, but it was hard to deal with the fear that it inspired in ds1. 

jgallagher66 07-23-2012 06:13 AM

I have two school age kids and I feel that they are fairly shielded from these things because we don't watch tv news so most of what they are likely to hear is directly from us. But I also have a 17 year old son who is in that almost adult stage but still so vulnerable and shocked by how horrible life can be sometimes. It's my teenager that I worry about. We will try to talk to him but teenage boys are not known for opening their emotions to their parents. I always cringe when I hear the cynicism and sometimes the fatalism that these teenagers express after these events. I want him to stay hopeful and optimistic and realize that even though these horrible things happen to young people like himself life is still for the most part full of beauty and goodness is all around us. I'm telling him that and I just hope that somehow it's sinking in so he can stay the optimistic kind and happy person that he is usually. We all grieve with those families affected. I cannot imagine the depths of their pain.

adinal 07-23-2012 04:13 PM

29 Attachment(s)

I got this today.  I haven't watched the whole thing yet, but thought it might be helpful or interesting:


It is LeVar Burton from Reading Rainbow. :)

Peggy O'Mara 07-23-2012 05:23 PM

I don't like to talk to kids about this stuff either and would rather shield them as long as possible. And, particularly as adults can't make sense of this either so it's hard to come to any conclusion, but you're right, continuing to give an optimistic message is the only solace. I do wish we would do more soul searching as a society though. Try to name what this is, what causes people to do this. Be willing to critique society. And, I want to talk more about gun control. I believe in upholding our right to bear arms, but is it easy access to assault weapons that contributes to this? How do we compare to other countries in terms of guns and violence. We too easily accept the violence in our society. 

34me 07-24-2012 06:42 AM

We live here. We've had to have many hard discussions with my teens this summer - the fires that destroyed homes and changes our world and those of friends, the shootings and earlier that night (Thursday) one of my 13 year olds friends died in an accident on their farm. My 18 year old was a mess on Friday but at least she was talking, my 16 year old is acting in a way that I don't like him much and my 13 year old is just stoic.... (2 youngest are boys)

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