Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Talking about it

On Monday February 27, a 17 year old boy walked into Chardon High School's cafeteria and fired shots at his fellow students. We live about a half an hour from Chardon. It is a great community, ideal for raising a family. We have relatives that attend the school district. Our prayers are with the community of Chardon. This first section was written BEFORE I had the talk.

"What should I tell my children?" a friend wrote on Facebook. Someone had the guts to say "Don't tell them." Really? You would rather your children hear on the bus that someone took a gun to a local high school and shot at other children? You want you children to be alone with their thoughts on a school bus when they hear this? I struggled to even comprehend how someone would think this was a good answer.

Many friends chimed in with suggestions and ideas. There were many thumbs ups. One commenter was an elderly woman. As I looked at her in the picture, I thought about how times were so different. Our conversations as parents have to be so different because our children are growing up in such a violent world. My children will be off of the bus in an hour. I made some brownies and we'll have a talk.

I sat and thought how to properly word my response. I prayed. I then took a few deep breaths and wrote the beginning of this post.The kids came running in and had no idea what happened.

"Have you heard anything at school today about something big that has happened?" My first question came out confused and in a weird order. I wanted to see what they knew. They had no idea. Kyle suggested that the big news was that Friday is Dr. Seuss day and they were to wear green and bring their favorite Dr. Seuss book.

I quickly got us back on track and talked about the boy with the gun. We talked about the drills they have at school and that they work. We talked about bullies and how some children don't know how to handle their bad feelings. We talked about telling someone if you hear or see threats. We talked about their safety and that their schools are safe.

And they ran off. I sat there on the couch and they were gone. They were off to play their next game. I was worried for nothing. It was a harder conversation for me to have them for them to hear. But, isn't that the beauty of childhood? They are protected from really understanding until they are mentally capable to really grasp it. I am relieved that they don't care as much as I thought they would. High school and Chardon are so far away to them. And that's OK. I had the talk. I pray there won't be more.


Cristine said...

Glad you had the talk. I also had it with Daniel and it helped. He was especially scared knowing that his cousin could have easily been one of the ones that were shot - he was only about 20 feet away.

I asked him if they talked about it in school the following day and he said, "No - when someone brought it up, the teacher said not to talk about it because it was too sad." I was sho shocked by that. I really thought that the schools let such a teachable moment pass by. Yes, it is a tragedy. Yes, it is scary. I get that. But it is also a reality of our kids world and I was sad to see that our school district didn't take advantage of that moment to educate our kids more.

Indy said...

The kids teachers did talk about it the next day. I thought it was a good idea to have an open conversation. It is such a teachable moment, you are right.

I'm Not Talking About It, I'm Just Saying...