“If you want to teach your child how to cope then you need to model the behavior. Don’t try and hide it from them and put on a happy face because they can sense that you’re not being real. What they take away from that is that you know something bad happened and you don’t want to talk about it. Then they in turn learn not to come to you when they are upset or worried about something in their lives.”
Schonfeld added, “You want to be as calm and reassuring as possible while telling them the truth about how you are feeling. Tell your child that you were upset and afraid when you first saw the images and heard this news and that you were worried too.”
Still, he admits, kids are going to see the images we don’t want them to see and hear all about how two bombs struck near the finish line of the Boston Marathon yesterday; that the death toll has risen to three and that one of the dead is an 8-year-old boy. They will learn that over 100 were injured at the scene, according to CNN. However, they do not have to learn to live in fear.
In an attack like this, millions are spiritually injured by the impact of the news of these events and that’s just what bombers like to see. The answer I give my sons and any child who asks me is that the “why they did it” is not as important as “why we can’t let this stop us from living our lives.”
During the Gulf War, I was stationed in Tel Aviv for a month, and SCUD missiles would take out an entire neighborhood in the pre-dawn hours and moms would be waiting in the rubble for the school bus in the morning with their kids.