Welcome to "Hey Mom and Dad"—a weekly feature in which we ask our Facebook fans to share their views on parenting. We're starting off with a question we posed recently on the Patch Facebook pages.
Last week's tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT left the entire country shocked and speechless. Nevertheless, many parents felt they needed to discuss what happened with their children. That brings us to this week's question:
Have you talked with your kids about what happened in Connecticut and similar acts of violence? What did you tell them, or not tell them?
Take a look at what people had to say and join the conversation in the comments section.
Michelle D. In my opinion not telling your kids about this is like allowing them to be a deer in headlights if it happens. I am so glad that my child is aware of what's going on in the world. He knows what to watch for, what to listen for and has planned where he would hide or what he would do. I think any school age children need to be talked to about it. Always remember that if you don't talk to your kids about it chances are good that someone else will and that will scare them more than hearing it from you. via Plainfield Patch Facebook
Elizabeth R. I talked with my 5 yo kindergartner about the drills they do in school and asked if he understood why they do those and how important it is to remain absolutely silent. I told him about what had happened and emphasized that doing exactly what he does during the drills will help keep him safe. Columbine happened right around the time I was graduating, so we never had to deal with these things. It sickens me that my child even has to do drills for this type of scenario. via Yorkville Patch Facebook
Kimberly P. My husband talked to my middle child some about this, I started to talk to my 6 year old about it (fighting back tears) And as they fell my son said "mom don't worry, the bad guy is gone..plus our school does a lot of drills" he went on to tell me the many drills they do And how they do them. I would like to Thank Southbury elementary for a job Well done to protect my kids! I will continue to talk about the safety's with them. via Oswego Patch Facebook
Stephane C. My 4 year old first asked why I was crying on Friday and I told him I was sad because kids like him got hurt. But then on Saturday, I couldnt turn the channel fast enough before the news mentioned it. He cried a little because he knows what might happen if someone gets "shooted." All better now that he knows "the policemen won't let the bad man hurt anyone anymore." via Joliet Patch Facebook
Michelle B. I have a 13 year old son, I also don't filter anything when it comes to him. I had told him what had happened, that its not something that happens on a regular basis and then asked him how he felt about everything. He started crying and not because he's scared, but for all the little kids and adults who lost their lives due to that crazy gunman! He then was telling me what he would do if god forbid something like that happened in his school, he took it all in very well but as a parent I never thought I would ever have to discuss something this horrific to him! via Bolingbrook Patch Facebook
Judy G. So many parents are keeping the TVs off of the news so as not to frighten them. Kids would be afraid to go to school if they heard some of the stories on the news...way too graphic for little kids! I've been reading this for a couple of days on FB and honestly have to agree! via Romeoville Patch Facebook