SUNDAY BEST: EXPLAINING THE UNEXPLAINABLE TO CHILDREN

talking to childrenI didn’t want to do business as usual today after what happened in Connecticut this weekend. Words cannot describe what I felt when I heard the news, especially because this has happened too many times. In my adult life I’ve seen so many news stories like this one, and every time, I think it will be the last because a solution must be in the making. Then I find myself on the same couch listening to the same horrors all over again several months later. The fact that this would happen in a school and to fellow teachers and especially to students like the ones I work with every week crushes my heart. If there is a place where you should be able to feel safe it’s in a classroom with your friends and teachers. I’ve been especially saddened by the way the media has been including the children that survived in their news coverage. I keep thinking of two things when I hear or think about what happened: When are they going to take measures to prevent this from happening again? (this is one time too many), and how should this be explained to the children that survived and to all the others that have found out about this tragedy? For this reason, I’ve gone to the wonderful wise words of Brené Brown. As you may have heard me mention before in this blog, Brené is a research professor from the University of Houston who has written and specialized on the topics of vulnerability, courage and shame, among others. Her TED talk on listening to shame is one of the most special I have seen so far. For today’s Sunday Best I’m sharing a link to her post with incredible resources on how to talk to children after tragedy occurs and approaching the subject of violence against children with them.

Every week I witness the wonderful wisdom of children, and nowadays they seem so grown up that I always have to keep reminding myself that they still need so much protection and guidance to be able to hold on to their childhood and those wonderful years of innocence that should never be taken away. This is why I loved Brené´s post and all the resources she shares with us.

The photo you see above is of a small playground in a nearby park. It’s my favorite part of the park because it reminds me so much of when I lived in New York as a child and went to the playground every afternoon. The bright colors and fun swings behind this beautiful tree always remind me of how childhood should be. Today this picture makes me very sad and feels eerie when I think about what happened and how it needs to never happen again. I hope you can get some guidance on how to talk about this with the little ones in your family and classroom with Brené´s link above, and I send the most heartfelt condolences to those affected by this tragedy. I hope I can get another one of these photos soon with lots of children playing and laughing in the swings as a reminder of how precious their lives are and how there is always hope ahead.

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3 thoughts on “SUNDAY BEST: EXPLAINING THE UNEXPLAINABLE TO CHILDREN

  1. I cannot (& therefor do not) look at the news coverage. It is too tragic and upsetting. I am getting all my updates from family, friends and co-workers. This has afforded me more time to pray and contemplate the promises of God….my God, anyway, the one that I, personally believe in. My God is a God that is so big, He can scoop the oceans up in His hands…and He is a comfort… So how do we find comfort in this sad tragedy? What I feel is that there is no death, only life on earth and life in heaven. The 21 precious little ones who are now alive in Heaven are having the BEST Christmas ever! And they are their with 5 of their teachers who they know & trust to lead them on this new journey in a new place. Life on earth can be hard for many of us…it is no doubt unbearable for the families left behind to live out life on earth. My prayer for comfort is not to think of the pain of the ones now in heaven, or the life they COULD have had ahead of them–if God really does operate outside or beyond our understanding then they went to Heaven at exactly the time He had planned or chose. They will all be missed but they are happy & dancing. My little little prayer is that the families left behind truly know that their children are alive and well in the trusting, capable, loving hands of God and that that is a teeny tiny bit of comfort for them.

  2. Please edit my typo! I am a teacher… “They are THERE with 5 of their teachers…” yuck, I should have read my post one more time!

  3. That is a lovely thought Marisa, thank you for sharing it. It´s a beautiful image which I hope is bringing some comfort to some of the families. The news stories have been to the most part horrific and sometimes extremely cruel. I´ve seen newscasters asking 7 year old children if they can tell them what they heard and saw as they were ¨walking down the parts of the school where the killings had happened¨. As if they hadn´t been through enough and possibly and thankfully hadn´t seen anything, now this person on TV is basically giving them an image of what they would have probably seen. These poor kids shouldn´t even be interviewed by someone who has absolutely no experience talking to children, they shouldn´t be interviewed in the media at all! It was such a sad thing to see.

    I wasn´t able to fix your typo without deleting your comment Marisa! But I know everyone will read your second comment and realize it was simply a typo. I didn´t want to delete it! How is your school handling what happened?

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