Innovation on Earth

Global Citizenship Resources for Innovation Academy and Beyond

How to Talk to Your Parents about Newtown

Today is a sad day for all Americans. If you haven’t heard the news yet, there was a school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. At least 25 people, including 20 children, were shot by a man who entered Sandy Hook Elementary School with a gun. Screen Shot 2012-12-14 at 5.54.23 PMThere are a lot of questions about what happened, but there’s no doubt that the shooter was mentally ill and his life was also taken today. The whole country is mourning this terrible tragedy.

Here’s something important that you should know. Adults are upset about this, especially ones that have kids or work with kids. Their hearts are so full of love they could burst. They love you so much!  Even though they know that you are safe, they might have a rough time dealing with this.

Here are some tips about how to talk to the adults in your life about today’s shooting:

  • Assure them that feeling sad is ok. In fact, it’s normal to have lots of different feelings when something scary happens. Screen Shot 2012-12-14 at 5.56.54 PM Some people might feel angry, fearful, or something else. There’s no right or wrong way to feel, and there’s no perfect thing to do.
  • Explain to them how safe your school is. Tell them about all the ways that your teachers make sure you are ok. You can even tell them that our school (Innovation Academy) has emergency procedures in place so that teachers would know how to protect you if something bad happened.
  • Tell them to turn off the news. Sometimes adults can be a little media obsessed. It’s not so healthy, but lots of us do it. It’s good to know what’s going on, but too much news can be like replaying horror films before bed. That’s like asking for nightmares.
  • Screen Shot 2012-12-14 at 6.04.57 PMRemind them about probability.  You know about percentages, right? Make sure they realize that 99.9% of kids in the U.S. are safe right now. This is just one situation, and it seems big on the news, but that’s because they only show the bad stuff.
  • Encourage them to get support if they need it. Honestly, kids are usually better at this than grown ups. Adults don’t want to admit that they need help because they want to appear all strong for you. It’s ok to ask for advice from other people. Asking for help is actually a very brave thing to do.
  • Finally, give the adults in your life lots of hugs. Everyone needs hugs. Ideally, we should get lots of hugs every day, but especially when something sad happens.

Screen Shot 2012-12-14 at 5.58.36 PMThanks for taking the time to think about how to support your parents today. They might need a reminder that there is much more good in the world than there is bad. If there’s anyone who can help them remember, it’s probably young people like you.

*Note: The photos from today’s post are ones I took while traveling in Peru, China, Mali, and Ukraine. I chose these ones because I think they capture the unique love can only exist between kids and their caregivers.

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21 thoughts on “How to Talk to Your Parents about Newtown

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  1. Hailey 6th HomeBase:Bell on said:

    Unspeakable! I was crying for my cat the day of the incodent but when my mom told me the News I felt really sad! Such a tradgic incodent! I ws crying over it even though I didn’t know any of them. Unbelieveable! That is all I have to say, just unbelievable…
    😦 😦 😦 😦 –
    Hailey

  2. Hailey 6th HomeBase:Bell on said:

    The News said there were 26 people shot and killed. Such a tragedy. 😦

  3. Thanks for this entry, Sara. I’m going to forward it along to a parent educator with whom I work.

  4. Thanks to everyone who commented on this difficult post. I really appreciate all the feedback. I love sharing my work (writing, photography, teaching) with a larger community (parents, friends, students, colleagues, family, and strangers). It means a lot to me to hear back from readers. Let me know if you have ideas for future blog post topics!

  5. Maggie on said:

    Even though it is January I am still very sad about this. I just can’t imagine what on earth was going on with that man! Those kids are innocent.

  6. Pingback: The Kind People of Pakistan | Innovation on Earth

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