After You Hug Your Children Tonight, What to Say About the Tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary

A CNN alert regarding the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, CT appeared on my phone this morning and as my eyes read it, my brain immediately shouted back NO!  As more information became available, a sick feeling grew stronger in my stomach.  These were innocent children and the majority of the victims were in a kindergarten classroom.  Unbelievable.  There are no words for a horrific situation as this.

Watching the President discuss the tragedy, it was hard to hold back tears  along with him.  Something like this is impossible to comprehend for adults let alone little children.


I am thousands of miles away and yet my heart is broken for those families.  I feel deep sadness as a parent and an educator.  After you hug your own children tonight, what can you do or say about this tragedy?

My friend Melissa Taylor of Colorado, had written about this very thing in the wake of the shootings that took place in a movie theater in Aurora, CO.  You can read her advice on her blog at Imagination Soup.

Her suggestion is to address the violence before your children hear it from someone other than you.  Of course keep in mind that children under seven should be shielded from it altogether if possible.  Melissa writes that should you decide to talk about this with your children, you should ask them NOT to talk with other children about it.  She is wise to suggest that “it is a family decision and other kids may not know about it.”

As I was about to post this piece, I noticed fellow ChicagoNow blogger, Shannan Younger at Tween Us has advice for discussing tragedies like this with tweens.

This just has to stop.

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    Lisa Stiegman

    My name is Lisa Stiegman and I have been a Chicago area resident all my life. Besides being the mother of three children, I have been a writer, editor, and teacher.

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