I woke up this morning to the tragic news that a gunman had opened fire in crowded movie theater, killing 12 and wounding more than 50. I feel such sadness for all those who were affected by this senseless attack, especially for those who have lost loved ones. I wondered weather or not to discuss this terrible tragedy with my older children and I felt that even though they are young, they have the capacity to comprehend tragedy and to feel compassion.
This tragedy made me realize that it is important to make my kids aware of the world in which we live in. My parents were children during the Holocaust and saw tragedy unfold in every direction and their experiences, their knowledge of the world around them, made them courageous, compassionate, hard-working and extremely loving. I try to live my life in the same way my parents did. I keep myself informed on important world issues and on current news events, because it’s important for my kids to be educated and to not be afraid of the harm a “few” choose to inflict in this world.
I decided to shield my kids from “regular” television last year, which means all they have access to is AppleTV, but I haven’t shielded them from life. In the sense that I believe allowing my kids to be informed about world events, including violence and injustice, is an important part of their ability to become empathetic citizens, but I believe that these are issues that they should hear from me rather than from television. This way they are not bombarded with images of violence, fear and pain, instead they are given the facts and allowed to ask questions, which turns into dialogue… something all parents need to have with their kids.
I wish I didn’t have to have these discussions with my kids.
I wish tragedies like this never occurred.
I will hold them a little closer tonight.