After The Boston Marathon Explosions: What parents should do first
- First of all, give your kids a hug. And your partner. Call your mother. Call anyone and everyone you love and make sure they know you love them. Don’t wait another second. The world is a tenuous place, and those we love are more important than anything.
- Second, shut off the television. It’s hard not to stay glued to the television, especially since we are waiting or answers and are wondering how this will affect our lives in the days to come. But shut it off–it’s too much, and too disturbing, for young eyes. Get your information from your laptop and smart phone instead.
- Tell your children what happened. They need to hear it from you. Keep it big picture; no need for gory details.
- Answer their questions honestly. Again, skip the gory details.
- Reassure children that terrible things like this are very rare. Usually, Copley Square and other public places and events are safe.
- Talk about all the ways that you and other people work to keep them safe. These conversations might just help you, too.
- Talk about the heroes. There will be more stories in the days to come. Those are the stories to concentrate on; it can help your children, and give them inspiring and empowering role models.
- In the days to come, find ways to help. Maybe it’s donating to the Red Cross. Maybe it’s writing condolence letters. There will be ways to show that you care, and to make a difference…look for them.