Just like with so many things for our tweens- it’s getting harder and harder to shelter them from the world’s tragic realities. This week’s senseless murder of innocent children and teachers is another unfortunate lesson in starting to talk very realistically with our growing children.
Before they hear it from their friends, it’s time to learn to talk with your tween-aged child. Only you know them and know what they can handle. For my part, I didn’t have my tweens watch the news on television- I felt it was visually too much for them. We did sit down and talk about it. We talked about how some people take out their rage (had to explain this concept) on others innocently, every day. We stopped and prayed for all those children and their families. But we also prayed for the children who are always surrounded by violence.
We talked about how having empathy for someone new in a classroom or for someone who is ‘different’ can lead to people simply caring more about each other. I don’t want to create a false sense of utopia where if we love each other the world is better. But often children are extremely mean to each other and that does lead to isolation and can create violent tendencies later in life. No, I’m not a psychologist. Just a mom trying to help my children understand this news in some way and find ways they can make a difference. I won’t make this about gun control right now although change certainly has to come.
Take the time to discuss the news with your tweens. Understand what they already are thinking and talk about it. Listening and talking will be your best weapons as we enter their adolescent years.
Our prayers go to all the parents of this tragedy but also to those who cope with violent situations daily. How can we help each other? We’re listening.