Parents' hearts are in their throats in Gwinnett County and across the country as news spreads of an elementary school shooting in Connecticut that reportedly took the lives of 20 children and seven adults.
Newtown Patch is covering the shooting. The lone gunman, who opened fire on students in two classrooms, is dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The incident will raise questions about how future such massacres can be prevented. It will also require parents everywhere to figure out how to discuss the violence with their children, many of whom will be returning to their schools next week.
Parenting.com offers advice for discussing tragic incidents with children. Among the suggestions:
- Don't bring frightening issues up with children under 7, but be prepared to discuss them if your child asks.
- Reassure your small children that they are safe. Even though you know you can't guarantee it, admitting ambiguity won't be helpful.
- Ask questions to make sure you understand how your children are feeling, and assure them their feelings are OK.
The New York Times parenting blog offers a dialogue and a video about discussing violent and scary incidents with your kids.
Do you plan to discuss the shooting with your children? How will you go about it? Share your thoughts in the comments.