Like everyone else, I was so shocked and saddened to wake up to the news about the shooting last night in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.
It’s really hard to know how to talk about tragedies like this in your own family, and my kids are young enough that this is a new issue for us. At first I honestly wasn’t sure how to handle the subject — my immediate instinct was to make sure the radio and TV were turned off and get my kids out the door to camp.
My children range in age from 18 months to 8 years old, and I don’t expect my younger ones to hear about it. For my 7 and 8-year-old, I want to be truthful, but I don’t want to scare them. I read this article which had helpful expert advice on the topic of talking to kids about shootings, and I’ll take my older boys aside and talk to them tonight once my younger ones are in bed.
First, I’m going to explain that a very troubled person did a very bad thing: he shot and hurt a lot of innocent people with a gun. I’ll give as few additional details as possible. Unless they ask about it, I’m not going to mention anything about the movie theater or “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Then I’m going to say that each person in the world has a right to safety and peace and what this person did was cruel and wrong. I’ll ask them if they have questions and tell them that if they hear anything about it, to ask me or their dad to explain.
My thoughts and prayers are with all of the families affected by this tragedy. How are you handling it with your kids?