Prayers for Colorado
There are no words to describe the sadness we all feel over the tragedy in Colorado. I imagine the 12-year-old’s excitement during the opening sequence of the movie. The 8-year-old, with popcorn in his lap and a Twizzler in hand, staring in amazement as Batman appears on the screen. The father, who grew up a big superhero fan, delighted to have this memory with his child. Then, a true villain breaks in and instantly destroys their lives. Like you I watched the news in horror. As a parent I am torn over whether or not to tell my children. Do you share what happened as a warning? After all, with the world we live in, no one can say it can’t happen again. Or in an attempt to protect their innocence do you shield them from the television coverage. A child shouldn’t have to be afraid to go to a movie theater.
My 5-year-old son often races around the backyard in a batman costume. A small mask covers everything, but his smile. His cape drags along the grass. On occasion a gust of wind whips it into the air. He pretends to rescue people and take down the bad guys. He could never understand why a superhero couldn’t save the people in that theater. Quite frankly, I am also finding it difficult to comprehend. My thoughts and prayers go out to their families.
Yes. You talk with them. Teaching and expecting ultimate safety is a myth, and can be harmful. Our kids have to learn to deal with uncertainty, and still function and be present. You talk with them in a balanced, calm way. We let them know that we all work hard to keep things safe, and at the same time things happen in the world. That they are loved and there will always be something there to help them through whatever they face…if their conversation gets that far. Talking with our kids helps them develop and express empathy, and helps learn how to handle tragic experiences in an appropriate way. Sadness, a little fear but mostly the desire to help comfort when and where we can. IMHO.
I would try not to connect the movie with what happened in the theater for the kids’ sake. People that are this crazy would do this during any movie. It just happens he chose one where there were dozens of people in costumes and he knew it was a packed house to create chaos. So sad.
Great post. It’s a difficult decision either way. I’m lucky that my daughter is too young to understand what happened so as of now I don’t have to worry about what to say to her. I’m sure one day I will, and I will dread it.
It’s a very scary world we live in these days. I can’t understand why someone would do such a horrible thing so I can’t imagine a young child trying to wrap their minds around it.
Good luck either way.