Shelter or Share: Local Parents Consider Whether or Not to Tell Children about Conn. Shootings

| December 16, 2012 | 0 Comments | News

In his address to the nation about the shootings in Newtown, Conn., President Barack Obama said "This evening, Michelle and I will do what I know every parent in America will do, which is hug our children a little tighter, and we’ll tell them that we love them, and we’ll remind each other how deeply we love one another."

Parents’ worst fear is that harm befalls their children. On Friday morning, that fear became a horrible reality for 20 parents in Newtown, Conn. when a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing 26 people, including 20 children in their classrooms.

The small New England community was shaken to the core, and the reverberations are being felt everywhere as parents struggle with how to deal with the tragedy.

Locally, many parents seem intent on not sharing information about the shootings.

“I said nothing to my daughter who’s in kindergarten. No TV, no radio either. I picked her up from school, hugged her extra tight and let her do whatever she wanted last night,” Dean Overman said.

Some parents hope that not telling their children will prevent their children from fearing the school environment.

“Chose not to share it with them. They’re in elementary school and it is too difficult to explain without making them scared at school. We are keeping the news off  TV as well,” a Gainesville mother said. “We are a family that believes in the Second Amendment and we are always protected!”

A greater concern of parents is that their children will ultimately find out when they return to school on Monday.

“However, not sure if I want to tell her anything, but at the same time I’m worried that other kids will say something and she would be more scared,” Daniela Buhezo said.

Other parents realize that children will inevitably find out and they want to be the ones to tell them.

“Much better to tell them yourself at home or some place they feel safe and explain and answer their questions than to wait till they hear it from others or at school,” a Nokesville mother said.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network offers tips on how to talk to your children about the shooting.

© 2012, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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