Wheaton Montessori News
Like you, we were horrified listening to the news this morning and learning about the mosque shootings in New Zealand. Depending on the age of your child, you may be struggling to help them understand the tragedy and calm their fears.
After the Florida school shooting, our Junior High students took great comfort from taking action: attending rallies, fundraising for victim assistance, writing elected representatives, etc. Many of our students are too young for this; they know just enough to be frightened, but not enough to know what to do next.
How can we help these younger children just realizing that there are horrors in the world? As parents, we can reassure them that they are safe, even though this tragedy and any violent acts are scary. Let your child know that the “bad guy” has been caught and that the police and community helpers are doing everything possible to keep us safe. It feels like this is an impossible assurance to promise. It can feel like a lie, given what we hear in the news every day. But your child is looking to you for comfort and a safe haven and they need to be told that they are safe.
For young children, we want to help them continue to see the world positively. We can help them navigate their corners of the world with the confidence that we, as parents, do all we can to keep them safe and have others in the community with the same goal. As John-Marc Bilezikian reminded us in the office as we talked about the mosque shooting, safety and danger are both relative terms. We have inherent risks in our daily activities here – driving to school, playing contact sports, etc. We don’t scare our children away from all risks and potential dangers that we know of in these activities. We assure our children that we do all we can to be safe. We assure our children that there are good people in the world that also do everything they can to keep us safe. We approach it this way so that we confidently get in the car each day, go to mosque the day after a tragedy, and explore the world confidently without being crippled by the risks.
Assure your child that you are here for them. Give them a safe place to unload their burdens and worries.