Friday, December 14, 2012

Giving My Kids (and Friends) Extra Hugs

My heart breaks for the people in Connecticut today because of the elementary school shooting. I just can't wrap my mind around so many children and helpers of children losing their lives in such a senseless way. I can't even begin to understand the grief their family members are experiencing right now. I pray that God will comfort them and hold them in His arms.

Yet here, across the country, I need to help my kids deal with the news of the tragedy. At first I tried to hide it from them, yet soon realized that it didn't take long for them to figure it out. Kids with traumatic histories, who already have a lot of fear, are pretty observant, and yet have a difficult time dealing with violent news. PTSD is a strange thing, and traumatic events seem to accumulate, at least with my kids. Hubby and I talked a little about what happened, about how they are safe and have people taking care of them. I thought the conversation calmed their fears, until Mr. I pulled out a knife during our daily walk to show Ms. D and me that he'd keep us safe from anyone who would harm us. It looks like we'll have to have some more conversations, doesn't it?

A friend of mine posted an article about how to talk to your children about traumatic events.  It is good advice, and I'm glad to see that I've been able to follow most of this advice so far. Sometimes I wonder whether I'm doing the right thing or not. It's good to be reassured.

This week we've had two mass shootings, one at the mall that my relatives barely missed. So I'm a bit numb myself. Yet I need to stay calm and collected for the kids, and save the tears for later. I gave my teacher friend across the street an extra big hug and will be sure to pray for all the teachers, students, and parents who haven't been affected directly, yet are rocked by the tragedy.

And most of all, I've been giving my kids extra hugs today and thank God they are safe.

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