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April 17th, 2013

The Boston Marathon Bombing and Your Child

It happened again. Another terrible, senseless tragedy. A frightening event all over the news. A child was killed. Over a hundred injured. Children worry and worry and worry, Will this happen in my school? What about the races in my town? Will I be hurt in a bomb?

Many kids do not feel safe when they hear about events such as bombing at the Boston Marathon on Monday. It’s no wonder, as many adults don’t feel safe either. As parents, one of our many important jobs is to teach young people how to manage their fears in a what is often a very scary world.

It’s not easy to do this but you can get a good head start by working with your child on two concepts – likelihood and anti-terrorism efforts. It’s not realistic to tell your child that things like this NEVER happen. They do happen. Fortunately, they happen very rarely and the likelihood that something as dreadful as the Boston bombing will happen to your child is very, very, very low. Even though children may see or hear about something bad , it doesn’t mean it will happen to them.

The second concept is reminding your child of the strong and vital anti-terrorism effort of our government. Very smart people are working very hard to locate and capture the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon. Many terrorists have been apprehended before and brought to justice. It may be only a matter of time before these terrorists have been captured as well.

We don’t live in a perfect world. We don’t live in a world that is always safe. But we can help our children navigate their way through their fears in the best way possible. For additional readings on this topic, see Time Square Bomb Threat Can Scare Children.