I first found out about the school shooting in Newton, CT while scrolling through Facebook. Many of my friends were expressing grief and asking people to pray for all of the families affected. It wasn’t until I finally read a news report about the incident that the full weight of the tragedy hit me.
My first reaction to the incident was horror, followed by a strong urge to pull my kids out of school and keep them safe at home forever. Of course my second reaction was unreasonable, but as a father, my instinct to protect my children is strong. Unfortunately, I cannot be with them all the time nor can I fully shield them from the evil in this world. All I can do is equip them with knowledge and let them know that I will protect them to the best of my ability. I will also constantly cover them with love and prayers.
Sadly, these school shootings have become far too common in the United States. I cannot fathom how someone could kill innocent people, especially innocent elementary children. It saddens me that people could be so heartless and cruel. Because of the senseless violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School, many families will have a miserable Christmas without their loved ones.
I don’t intend to share the graphic details of this event with my children unless they ask about it because I don’t want them to be afraid to go school. They already have enough issues to deal with while growing up in today’s society. No need to taint their innocence any further with such horrible news. I do plan to make sure that their schools have reviewed their security procedures and have solid plans in place.
If you would like some advice on how to discuss this event with your children, here are a couple of good resources: Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers and Sandy Hook School Tragedy: Helpful Tips for Talking to Your Kids.
I urge you to cherish every moment with your family. Never miss the opportunity to express your love and gratitude. You may never have another chance.