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.
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.
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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. :)
Adina mama to B 4/06 and E 8/13/12 (on her due date!)
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.