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Parents, How Did You Address The Shootings With Your Kids?

Patch likes to hear from you on questions that get families talking and certainly, nothing is weighing more heavily on our minds this week than last week's tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Here's how your neighbors discussed it with th

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

How did you handle it? Share in the comments. 

John Roberts December 20, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Look my son can tell you every weapon that soldiers in combat use today,he can tell you what kinds of guns they used in WW2...me I can not,....look my 2 daughters Diabreanah Roberts and Alexya Roberts were the 2 and 3rd women to recieve a expert marksman award in Joliet Central High School...which is above marksman...One was a CNA before she left high school,she was picked to go to Washington D.C. With the Youth Ledarship program,got to see congress,and was in Washington for a week By herself at 18...my other daughter is on her way to becoming a CNA before she leaves school,My som wants to be an engineer...Me I never wanted to be any of these things...I do not mold my children..I tell them to question everything and when you believe in something question it even more...Here is what I am quoted by my children as saying and they follow it...."if at any time you feel like you are not worth anything,like you can to do anything....Help some one and you will see how much you are worth" to them it was said because I want them to do good..But the reality of it was...they were teens and going through things,lost a parent,all kinds of stuff and I said it because suicide is high amung teens...my quote is on one of my kids Facebook lady as what helps her make it through tough times..and when they help others they smile for days and days...real world...
John Roberts December 20, 2012 at 08:19 PM
What part of fed are you talking about? People crying about a police state? Are you not paying attention to what is goiing on..how many people now feel we are in a police state..with no recollection that it is citizens actions that cause more restrictions..me I have no complaints about police being at the schools..but what I do have a problem with is dragging the kids out of class having the, line up against the lockers and having the dog walk down the hall ways...that is an interruption in schooling...I do care about some officer man handling my child..we have sen the results of that...we have cops right now that have shot children in school where is the outcry? Or was it ok because it was an officer?...you can place officers in schools and not interrupt schooling...if thee is security they will be more cautious because they can be sued..police will have an internal investigation and will ok the officer for shooting your kid for having a cell phone he thought was a gun...
Katrina December 21, 2012 at 01:43 AM
I agree to keeping it real with kids and, at appropriate ages, let them know what's going on. It's just when you replied to your son: "why don't they let the teachers carry guns" My reply. Because that would be the correct thing to do... " - you should've said that you think it is the correct thing but others feel differently. He should feel safe in thinking differently than you , if he does. That's great about your daughters - if that's something they're into, good for them ... just not my cup of tea. I just hear a bit of paranoia in some of your posts - lighten up a bit maybe. And police v security officers - sure, bring on the private security - good idea. When it comes down to it, we all want the best for our families & our country...
Alexya Roberts January 05, 2013 at 04:27 AM
I am one of his daughters, his youngest, on my way to becoming a CNA.. in this house, my father keeps it VERY real... crystal clear very real.. he gives us his opinions, as do we, to him. we know that we are all safe with sharing our opinion, sometimes we even have debates, no one is right, or wrong. it's just an opinion, and we know, and respect that about each other. Me, I honestly believe that the teachers should be able to carry guns because there are students everywhere mad at the world and at teachers because they didn't get the grade they wanted or thought 'they deserved'... one of my teachers even said that being a teacher is one of the most dangerous jobs because not only of the people that can come in, but the students themselves. I have much respect for the teachers out there because EVERY DAY they take a chance of being killed, but yet, have no way of defending themselves..
Alexya Roberts January 05, 2013 at 04:28 AM
I am 18 years old, and since I lived with my dad, he has resepcted my opinion about EVERYTHING, because he didn't raise anyone who he didn't want us to become.. I'd like to think of myself as a smart person, not only because I have a 3.4 GPA, but because I know what's going on in the world because of my dad. he helps explain things that I don't get and gives his opinion on everything, and it helps me validate and analyze things, not only with his opinion, but with mine as well.. and as for my brother and sister, they're VERY smart too, and we all have different opinions, and we respect their opinions.. because we're family and that's how it should be... in my opinion.

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