Welcome to "Hey Mom and Dad"—a weekly feature in which we ask our Facebook fans to share their views on parenting. We're starting off with a question we posed recently on the Patch Facebook pages.
Last week's tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT left the entire country shocked and speechless. Nevertheless, many parents felt they needed to discuss what happened with their children. That brings us to this week's question:
Have you talked with your kids about what happened in Connecticut and similar acts of violence? What did you tell them, or not tell them?
Take a look at what people had to say and join the conversation in the comments section.
Michele M Kilcoyne: We (are) talking to our son, but letting him ask us questions that he had concerns about. This way we did not say more then he needed or wanted to know. We were very honest and promised (him) we would be. — Batavia Patch Facebook
Jeni Golomb: My boys are 6 and 3 and I don't think they have heard about it. I am not going to bring it up unless they do. They already get scared about so many other things, no reason to add "going to school" to that list. I say, let them keep their childhood innocence, if possible. — Elmhurst Patch Facebook
Kelly Stare Guzniczak: Our 13 year old is aware of what went on and we had some dialog regarding it, however, we limited her viewing of the media coverage of it but made sure she knew that she could always talk to us. (We actually limited our own exposure of it as well.) Our younger two have zero clue as to what happened and our intention is to keep it that way. — Geneva Patch Facebook
Larry Domkowski: To my eight year old when he asked about it I said that it was a very bad man who did a very bad thing... — Glen Ellyn Patch Facebook
Suzanne Flynn: I have a five and nine year old and we have told them nothing, kept the TV off and newspapers put away. No need for them to know about what happened. However, if they hear about it and ask questions, we'll be as honest as we can without scaring them. — Lisle Patch Facebook
Bari Baskin: We did briefly last night. I didn't want to but I absolutely did not want my kids to hear it from other kids at school first. That's scarier to me. We gave them the basic facts, told them they could always ask us any questions, reinforced that the school has safety procedures in place, there are always grown ups to help you and also not to engage is conversation about it with other kids. They were not frightened to go to school (this) morning, for which I am thankful. We cannot let fear and evil win. — Naperville Patch Facebook
Katy Linn: We spoke to them about it after they accidentally changed the channel on the tv and saw it....we told them he was sick and did not know right from wrong and that we would pray for everyone involved. I am proud to say that they told us "That won't happen at our school because it is safe and the doors are locked" this was such s relief that they feel safe at school and were not scared to go! Thank you Munhall!! — St. Charles Patch
Sue Stozek Mayeda: I did, because their teacher discussed it in class. — Wheaton Patch Facebook