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View Diary: I told my son about Sandy Hook... (55 comments)

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  •  Interesting. Thanks. (11+ / 0-)

    I have a 10, 11 and 12 year old girls, and they don't know about it. They are very internet savvy, very busy, and exposed to a lot of the world, but they aren't exposed to adult media or commercial media like news or cable shows. I briefly explained to the 12 yo Monday why the flags are at half mast and she shook her head with sadness, no questions. Their schools are as prepared for emergency lock downs as a school can be, I suppose. We talk about the horror in the world but not much, not with graphic details, and I take their lead, answer all of their questions.

    •  I think it's important (17+ / 0-)

      to be honest with kids.  Better they process difficult and scary concepts with adult guidance than without....or never learn to process at all.  

      Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

      by Mark Mywurtz on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:43:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely honest. (6+ / 0-)

        There is a lot happening in the world that's not necessary for them to know until they seek it out. I would never avoid difficult or scary things they need to know.

        •  They don't know to "seek" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chantedor, kck

          And what innocent would? But that's the entire point. Nobody teaches swimming lessons after the child has already drowned. You can't wait for the children to seek out information on drugs, or sex, or  violence... you MUST give them the knowledge to protect themselves.

          I'm sorry to disagree so forcefully, but my daughter turned 12 this past weekend, and she's developmentally delayed. I would have LOVED to use that excuse to  not tell her about what happened, but that's not reality. I told her, then banned her from TV with that reason. We spent the weekend seeing The Hobbit, visiting grandparents, and enjoying her new gifts.. but your girls are ALL , I assume, developmentally age appropriate... you can't shield them. They know, and if they don't hear it from you they'll go into "protect parent" mode where they don't talk about it because they think YOU can't handle it.

          Kids worry and take on too much these days. They think they have to solve the problems, on their own, because the messages form their cartoon heroes are about independence and leadership. They internalize these horrors as something that they should just "cope with"... they won't tell you they already know, they'll assume you don't know.

          Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. ~ Yoda Political Compass: -8.50, -6.46

          by Cinnamon on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 08:20:42 PM PST

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      •  Kinky Friedman said that his father taught him... (8+ / 0-)

        to "treat children like adults and adults like children." I know that Kinky can be sarcastic at times, but this statement does contain a germ of truth. Like Mark says above, I also always try to be honest and truthful without being overly graphic with any question my grandson asks me and I always try to treat him "like an adult". I know he's a child, but what "treat him like an adult" means to me is that I always treat my grandson with respect--while many so-called adults have earned and deserve nothing but scorn and disrespect.

        These are troubling times. Corporations are treated like people. People are treated like things. ... If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now. — Rev. Dr. William Barber, II to the NAACP, July 11, 2012

        by dewtx on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:56:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Excellent. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dewtx, Brainwrap, CuriousBoston

          Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

          by Mark Mywurtz on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 08:03:21 PM PST

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        •  I resented being talked-down-to as a teen (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dewtx, CuriousBoston, Mark Mywurtz

          I come from a family where  Keeping Up Appearances mattered a lot. Too much. Style over substance at times.

          So one of my personal rules I made up as I grew into adulthood is: never make a bullshit rule. A bullshit rule is anything you can't logically back and live, in reality.

          If a person is intelligent/aware/adult enough to ask a question, I believe they deserve the honest answer. With the same parameters and boundaries that apply to adults; (ie: don't ask me specifically about handcuffs, if you are going to be scarred for life by my answers that may be based upon personal experience. And yes, I do warn before I answer)  But if you ask "Auntie Cinn" why one of your cousins seems to have fallen into disfavor with the rest of the family? Yep, I'll tell you. The REAL story,  not some bullshit fairytale, and then you can make up your own mind where you fall in the fray, dear. You were keen enough to observe things to ask, I'll respect your intelligence enough to answer, and hope you learn from it.

          Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. ~ Yoda Political Compass: -8.50, -6.46

          by Cinnamon on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 09:07:15 PM PST

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          •  We all react to- or against- (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cinnamon, dewtx, CuriousBoston

            our upbringing. My parents were great in many ways, but very much into shielding us from difficult topics. I've never done that with my kids- mostly because it drove me crazy as a kid. And I do agree with what you wrote above about the conspiracy of silence that can arise where kids become the ones shielding their parents, I know I did.

            It was the same with teachers; when I was a freshman there was an appalling rape/torture/murder of a girl in a safe little catholic girls's school just like mine. The nuns completely changed our schedule so that we would not be commuting to school in the dark.  They said it was for our safety but never told us specifically why the big change. But of course we all knew- we could read the newspaper for crying out loud- but there was no opportunity to talk about it with adults. Cause they were protecting us. So we all drove each other nuts imagining that we would be next.

            •  I'm sorry I didn't see this until now (0+ / 0-)

              Crazy-busy the last 2 days.  Would have like to be able to tip. And, I'm so sorry for what you went through at such a young age.

              Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. ~ Yoda Political Compass: -8.50, -6.46

              by Cinnamon on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 02:26:23 PM PST

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    •  How can one be internet savvy and still (4+ / 0-)

      miss huge, days/weeks long stories like this one?

      I don't think that you can keep a story like this from a 10, 11, and 12 year old. I'm not questioning your integrity in any way, I just honestly don't see how that's possible.

      It is more important to be a confident and articulate speaker than to know jack shit about anything.

      by VictorLaszlo on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:23:28 PM PST

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    •  I asked my 13 year old about it today (8+ / 0-)

      If he'd heard anything about a shooting at a school. He immediately became very outraged that I brought it up and told me never to bring it up again. I asked if the kids at school were talking about it. He said, "No, and they shouldn't. It's totally disrespectful to talk about it."

      So we dropped it.

      I was surprised by how strong his view was on this, and also the respect issue.

      Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

      by mahakali overdrive on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:33:39 PM PST

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      •  Hun, re-engage. Please, please, please. (4+ / 0-)

        It's not disrespectful to talk about horrible things, if you talk about them respectfully. And he NEEDS  to be very clear -to get that life lesson taught - before god-forbid he's the dad telling his kids not to talk about their mother's illness/cancer/death.

        If he can't voice it with/to you, in the privacy of his own room, then grab a blank notebook and you both write out your words, like messages, or get in with a support group, or game together and chat in-game. Boys NEED to know they can talk and release their emotions and it's NOT dishonoring the dead. There is a time for all warriors to speak their pain. All.

        Dear god this is a huge red flag. Don't let another minute go by. That young man needs to know real manhood is owning truth, not locking it up in a hard shell. Please. Something in you MUST have caught this, if you were surprised and startled by his reaction.  Build the bridge now, when it's small.

        Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. ~ Yoda Political Compass: -8.50, -6.46

        by Cinnamon on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 08:05:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I found out yesterday ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CuriousBoston

      that my 11-year-old niece was told NOTHING about the Newtown tragedy by either her parents or any adult at her school.  But the kids found out about it anyway and decided to make their own contingency plans because a lot of them think of themselves as superheroes at that age ... nominating members of their group to be the designated killer kickers, eye-puncher-outers, etc., all responses that would have likely caused them to lose their lives in the event they ever found themselves in a similar situation.  So I explained to my niece that those were great back-up plans, but their first response ought to be to hide in a closet if they could, or in the corners of the room nearest the door if that was their only option, etc.  I'm sure she was relieved to be able to talk to a grown-up about it.  I also explained that the odds of such a thing happening in her school were terribly small, similar to the odds of winning the lottery, a concept she grasped immediately and seemed to calm her considerably from that point forward.

      It's unfortunate that these things need to be discussed with kids, but saying nothing just lets the worst elements of their imaginations run free and ultimately makes things worse for them.

      "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

      by Neuroptimalian on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 01:07:17 AM PST

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