I watched the news on Friday, along with millions of Americans, and I wept.
For the moms and the dads, the grandmas and grandpas, the siblings and families and friends and community, for our country and our world, my heart just breaks.
My heart so goes out to the families involved and affected by what happened in Newtown, Connecticut. There really are no words, and in times like this, we often “do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (Romans 8:26).
When the world seems darkest, Lord let your light shine! Thank you that you came “to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death to guide our feet into the path of peace” (Luke 1:79).
Resources for Talking to Your Kids After a Tragedy
Most of you have children at home with you. Ranging from newborns through college students, in public school, private school, or homeschooled. Each of your situations is different and many of you are wondering how we talk with our kids about what happened in Newtown.
My first suggestion is to pray. Seek the Lord on behalf of your children and your families. Ask Him what is right for you to share with your child at this age and stage of their physical, spiritual, and emotional development.
Corrie ten Boom once shared that when she was ten years old, she asked her father about a subject “too old” for her.
“He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing.
“At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case from the rack over our heads, and set it on the floor. “Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?” he said.
“It’s too heavy,” I said.
“Yes,” he said. “And it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It’s the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children.When you are older and stronger you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.”
And I was satisfied. More than satisfied – wonderfully at peace. There were answers to this and all my hard questions. For now I was content to leave them in my father’s keeping.”
God has promised that when we lack wisdom, we can ask Him for it and He will give it generously (James 1:5). Pray first.
As you read through the following resources and then talk with your children, continue to pray and pray together. The Holy Spirit will guide you.
- Three Rules for Teaching Kids About Tragedy (Focus on the Family)
- Dealing with Tragedy (National Center for Biblical Parenting)
- How and What to Share with Your Children When Tragedy Strikes (from The MOB Society)
- Fred Rogers Talks About Tragic Events in the News (Mr. Rogers)
- School Shooting in Newtown School: Advice for Parents
- Coping with Crisis–Helping Children with Special Needs (NASP)
When We Ask Why
- The Truth about Sandy Hook: Where is God When Bad Things Happen (Ann Voskamp)
- When Parents Have Nightmares (Lisa-Jo Baker)
- Lamentations (Jen Hatmaker)
Resources as We Move Forward
- A Free Audio Story to help children deal with tragedy (Sparkle Stories via Jamie Martin)
- Guard Their Hearts, For From It Flow the Springs of Life (Sally Clarkson)
- Children and Grief MP3 (National Center for Biblical Parenting)
- Connecticut Elementary School Shooting: How to Help (Huffington Post)
- How to Help Sandy Hook Victims, Families (West Hartford News)
This Christmas, as we celebrate Jesus, the light of the world, may we seek to be a light to those living in and walking through darkness.
Hurting hearts are everywhere: may we be the hands and feet, the light of Jesus, to a dark, dark world.