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Talking to Your Children About the Tragedy in Connecticut

This article offers talking points to assist parents in addressing their children's concerns and fears.

Dear Readers,

The tragic events that have unfolded in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut are unsettling to say the least.

School is considered to be a safe haven for children second only to our homes. The idea that 27 people, including 18 children, were killed in an elementary school shatters our preconceived notion of safety and security within the walls of our public schools.

Given the nature and accessibility of media today it is more than likely that our children are well aware of this tragic event. The fears that we have as parents can only give us a hint to the fears and questions this event creates for our children. I offer the following talking points to assist you in addressing their concerns:

1. The man who did this is no longer alive and cannot hurt anyone again.

2. When something terrible like this happens people everywhere do their best to make sure that it does not happen again. Talk about the security that you have seen at airports, etc. all those people are there to protect you.

3. Things are in the news because they are extraordinary. If we break down the word "extraordinary" we see the words "extra" and "ordinary." Things that are on the news are things that don't happen every day. Something like this has never happened in our community and is not likely to happen.

4. Offer your children the opportunity to pray for those who were injured or killed and their families. This will give them a way to express concern in a constructive manner. It does not need to be eloquent: just simple and from the heart.

I hope that these talking points are helpful. If I can be of assistance please feel free to call upon me.

With Torah Blessings,

Rabbi David Ross Senter
Synagogue Office 516 935 5454

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

paul December 15, 2012 at 06:06 PM
The proclamation is nothing more than more disrespect for the American flag... PERIOD..... The flag should fly HIGHER than ever...
Kristie M December 16, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Yesterday I was assaulted by a man while doing silent, solo, demonstration at a Huntington pet store He cursed me a blue streak, gave me the finger numerous times, drove his car directly at me on the sidewalk, stopping about two feet away, spit at me, called me evil, sick and pysho. All with his 2-3 year old child smling and laughing from is car seat. I was a single female outside alone holding a sign and this is what he did in front of a toddler. This is how some people talk to their children about violence. This child is going to grow up...
Kristina December 18, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Does anyone know of a teddy bear donation center for the children of Sandy Hook? I know some schools upstate and in MA. are doing this. Can we set this up somewhere?
Rob December 19, 2012 at 06:25 PM
what did the sign say?
Kristie M December 20, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Google Puppy Mills

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