1. Knewman4 says:

    OK, I need to tell my 8 year old now. He’s not as able to articulate things the way Punky is, but I see that I have to tell him. Punky always impresses me with her ability to make sense of the world. And I KNOW you can take a lot of credit for that as her mom.

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      ¬†Thanks, Kathy. ūüôā There’s no easy way to talk about it. That’s probably at least some of the reason I opted not to. It’s SO difficult to bring up.

  2. My oldest is only five too, but I did tell her what¬†happened¬† Being she is five she forgot about it within 20 minutes and hasn’t talked about it since then, nor did anyone at school say anything to her about it, that I know of.

    Even though she heard it from a friend, I think you handled it well.

    To “playing dead”, that sucks that she knows that, no child should, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

  3. tragicsandwich says:

    Baguette is two, so we don’t have to discuss this with her now. But we’ll have to discuss it eventually, because one way or another, this kind of safety issue will appear in her life.

    I don’t think your lie is all that bad. I could see saying something like that myself.

    • suburbanturmoil says:

      ¬†Thanks. ūüôā

      • tragicsandwich says:

        In fact, the more I wonder what else you *could* tell them. That they’re not safe? That this could happen to them? Adults can barely handle crime statistics that show how safe they’re likely to be. Kids just need to feel safe.

  4. SuzyQuzey says:

    Oh, my heart.

  5. You’re right. It sucks. The more stuff like this happens, the more I want to homeschool my kiddos. But, I do have to remember that it is such a random and infrequent event. But no matter how scarce, it is just disgusting and heart-wrenching.¬†

  6. RookieMom Heather says:

    Yikes. I played it the same as you and haven’t told my 5yo or 7yo. As of today, Thursday, I don’t know if or what they’ve heard.

  7. NancyB says:

    If I had been in that situation back when my son was young, I would have felt I had to talk to him about it – and I would have but there would have been alot of hand wringing before I did it!
    You don’t want to traumatize them but you want them to be aware and feel same in their everyday environment.

    It’s a sad sad sad situation. ¬†I live in Connecticut about 45 minutes away, I’ve worked in an elementary school library and cafeteria and when I think of the ages of the victims I instantly picture the faces of the little kids I worked with. Or I see a child in the store and try to guess their age.

    When I read about the one girl who played dead – oh my God that broke my heart and I started to say “Hey…” to my husband and stopped because the thought of reading it out loud like “this is a good thing”, just made me sick.

    I think whatever any of you say to your children will be ok and they will understand because our kids trust and love us.

  8. Kimberly says:

    ¬†I agree with you.¬† Sometimes it is necessary to lie or stretch the truth just to get by or comfort them.¬† I thought I never would before I had a child but then reality set in.¬† I found myself reassuring my three year old recently that I wouldn’t die for a long, long, long, etc. time which of course I have no idea whether or not that is true.¬† But what else can you say?¬†

    Your daughter is reassured and comforted and that is what matters most.¬† ūüôā

  9. Miss B says:

    I actually like that you let things play out this way. I think it was smart to not present her with something to worry about, especially something that is out of her control. If you had come to her with this news, she might have sensed that this was a big deal and something on which she needed to focus.¬†But you didn’t, and¬†here’s what happened – she found out about a horrible tragedy and¬†talked about it with her peers and you which resulted in her coming up with a solution that comforted her as well as discovering some facts about how others are watching out for her. She’s eight, and it’s completely alright for her to not be exposed to senseless violence. When she is older, she might be able to help prevent tragedies such as these or to provide support to those in need. Until then, I think it makes sense to¬†let her gain skills for compassion, sympathy, and dealing with fear¬†in an age-appropriate manner.

  10. Robyn says:

    I chose to tell my 6 year old son, but only because I knew it would be discussed at school.¬† If I could have spared him I would have done so.¬† It was the most surreal conversation, and at the end he just asked if he could watch cartoons.¬† I don’t know what got into his head, but I can’t believe I had to have that conversation.¬† I wanted to make sure he understood to listen to his teachers, even when it doesn’t make sense (like get in a closet).

  11. Mary says:

    I will admit that I haven’t told my 8 year old and haven’t had the news on in front of her. The school sent an email out on Sunday stating that staff would not volunteer information but would only respond to kids questions and concerns with age appropriate answers.
    As far as I know she knows nothing. Plus she talks nonstop and would bring it up if she knew. Plus I can’t reassure saying nothing like that has happened around here. 9 years ago there was a high school shooting in our small town and a student killed two boys.

  12. Glowplanet says:

    Today during the holiday parties at our public school, they have 20 seconds of silence “for Connecticut.” ¬†They announced it over the PA system. ¬†I had mixed emotions because my kindergartener and first grader don’t know anything about it. ¬†

  13. Melissa says:

    Yeah. It sucks. It totally, totally sucks. 

  14. 3boys says:

    My kids read the newspaper from an early age. They quickly realized that almost all of the other kids had pretty major errors when discussing the news because they heard fragments of things from their parents or they saw it on TV. They also discovered that when they already knew about something that was reported in the paper, that the paper had errors also.

    If your kids read the paper they will be exposed to all sorts of things that need explaining. Did you have to explain about the¬†kindergartners¬†whose bus was hit by a train in Egypt LAST MONTH with 50 children killed? This was as devastating to me as Connecticut but we tell ourselves that that’s a long way off. And we tell ourselves that our school is different because it has locks. You did the right thing to reassure Punky with an explanation about locks because that’s what we do as adults to move forward.

  15. […] Like you, I was thrown into a total tailspin by the Newtown shootings. There are no words, really, to describe the horror of that day, and the powerlessness I felt as a parent in its wake. I wanted to shield my children from the knowledge of what happened, but discovered that that was impossible. […]

  16. Sdkcccowens says:

    As a teacher, this was REALLY hard to deal with. ¬†I teach fourth grade. My kids are all pretty much 10. Monday morning, our principal came into every classroom in grades 4-8, and simply told the kids that if they had any questions or concerns about being at school that they could talk to us teachers, or her, any time. ¬†They all looked at me, and we ended up having a brief, but heartfelt conversation with NO details. Many of the kids really wanted to get into the nitty-gritty, but I held them back. ¬†I simply outlined the basics. ¬†Then, I tearfully laid out the simple truths that I would, without question, give my life for theirs if I had to; school is probably the safest place they could possibly be, and I would do anything to make sure it stayed that way. Then, I let them ask a few simple questions, some of which I re-directed with “Please ask your mom and dad that one, I want to make sure that they give you that information.” I also gave them time to write on some angel patterns that I had printed off the internet, some were blank, some had a short prayer on them *gasp I know, public school… but sometimes I think we need God in school*. ¬†They could color them, or write on them, etc. ¬†Then, we hung them outside the door with string, to wave for all to see. ¬†I also put up a sign on the door that read, “In this room, you are safe, you are loved!” ¬†I have not had one concern since, although I had one student say, tearfully… “That was beautiful” funny… Kids are remarkably resilient, if we give them the chance…¬†

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