The tragedy of terrorism at the Boston Marathon brings sadness to everyone, but there is a special stress for parents who will be discussing this with their children. Here are some suggestions to help:
- Be Factual: try to digest the news yourself and know the facts when possible before discussing it with your kids. They will hear about it at school and from their friends so do tell them unless you know they are too young. You can set the tone for how they feel about it.
- Prepare your own heart first: ground yourself in the Lord’s strength so you can convey faith to your kids in times of fear
- Know your children: tailor what you say for your child’s age, developmental level and unique personality -see Paula’s article for ideas: http://www.familylifeministry.atlanta.goarch.org/parents-guides-in-the-journey-toward-christ/
- Assure them of their safety: My kids surprised me by immediately connecting this to 9/11. Your kids probably feel the same way. Help them feel safe.
- Talk about the heroes: talk about the first responders, the doctors and the ordinary citizens who helped each other.
- Keep life normal: limit the amount that you and your kids are exposed to the news, especially the scary video images that are repeated over and over.
- Take action: pray with your kids, let them draw a picture or send a card to victims, light a candle at church or at home.
- Remind them that our safety is in God, not in the world
The scripture for today is a beautiful way to comfort our children (and ourselves):
The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-30