As you may know, yesterday during the Boston Marathon, two bombs detonated and killed three people, including an eight year old boy. Well over a hundred more are injured, many in serious and critical condition. This was a horrific act during a celebrated and peaceful event, that honors athletes from all over the world.
I live and practice mental health therapy in Massachusetts, and am currently awaiting a call back from the Red Cross as to how I can volunteer these services in need.
Right now, many parents may be wondering how they can talk to their children about this tragedy, especially when dealing with their own feelings of shock and dismay. This even takes me back to September 11th and the months that followed, when explaining to my then 3 year old son that “something very bad happened,” and that Daddy needed to go fight war on the other side of the world. Since then, other tragedies have struck our nation, such as hurricanes and mass shootings. Online resources have become readily available to help with these difficult conversations:
How to Talk With Children About Boston Marathon Bombs.
Even though we may want to keep up with the latest news of the bombings, the images we see are terrifying to us, then think of the impact they will have on children. So check out this site, about Media Coverage of Traumatic Events:
As we adults may be wary of traveling to a city these next few days, children may also be frightened of crowded places or cities. Here is an article about Helping Children Cope With Tragedy Related Anxiety.
Children may present other hard questions such as “Why do bad things happen?” Or from religious standpoints, “Why does God allow bad things to happen?” As we know, there is no one true answer for these questions, yet faith, family values, and your own personal ethics can help you talk with your children about these subjects.
I hope these resources are of help to you. Other sources that can help are the support of friends and family, church members, and school counselors.