Rosie to the Rescue: Why I Won’t Tell My Kids About Sandy Hook

Check out blog posts by Rosie Pope, star of Bravo’s “Pregnant in Heels,” every week at Parents.com! 

It’s hard to think of much else this week other than this terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. I’ve struggled to make sense of it, and at the same time wondered how or what to tell my young children in these times, if indeed they should be told anything. I am torn between trying not to think about it, and then forcing myself to in some way pay respect to all who fell victim that terrible day. I am sure you are struggling with the same things.

I have not told my children about this tragedy. My oldest is only 4.

I remember as a child hearing of a plane crash and being terrified of flying. I asked my dad to promise me that the plane we were on would not crash. Even at that young age, part of me knew he could not truthfully promise such a thing, but as my dad, my protector, that didn’t matter. As long as I could hear him utter the words that it was safe to fly, I could believe in them. I still do.

A very wise woman, who I respect endlessly, told me, “Keep this tragedy from our young children. Do not carelessly leave newspapers lying around, do not leave the TV on, and tell all caregivers not to speak of this in front of them.” Our little ones, between ages two and five, need to know they are safe, even when we are not always sure ourselves how true that is. They do not need to know of this unspeakable act; their worlds need to be warm and fuzzy, full of love and comfort.

If my four-year-old hears about what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary, I will do the same thing my dad did. I will promise my son he has nothing to fear and that he is safe. That this terrible thing happened, but everyone is doing all that they can to make sure it never happens again, and he has nothing to fear.

Hold your children close to you, and let’s stand together to try and make sure a tragedy like this never does happen again. So we can be sure that when we talk to our children, there is no longer a reason to lie.

For information and resources on dealing with the tragedy, visit the following on Parents.com:

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  1. by Katie Joy Newhouse

    On December 29, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    I am a fourth grade teacher and I definitely agree with protecting students from these sorts of violent incidences as much as possible. We kept our routine the same and I just made sure to check in with each child a lot more the week after. None of them brought it up, so neither did I. I think that should be mainly the parent’s call anyways.