A little help from my friends

I tend to be overprotective of my kids. I don’t let Meg watch Hannah Montana, even though ALL her friends watch, because while it may be entertaining, it’s waaaay over her head. She hasn’t seen High School Musical for the same reason. Yes, I guess I baby her too much, but as far as I’m concerned, some things can wait until she’s older.

We don’t watch the news because we don’t want the kids to see all that is going on in the world. There is very little good out there to expose them to. Meg knows about hurricanes from Katrina, but nothing about September 11th. Not yet. This is the girl who has nightmares about the panther from the Little House books we’re reading. I think she knows about the tsunami from 2004 because it happened right when Drew was born. But for the most part, we keep them sheltered from bad things. Maybe not the best way to handle things, but for now it works.

So here is where I need some help from my internet friends. This morning Doug called me to say there were several news trucks down the road from our house. So, I found online that a man murdered his wife, and then killed himself in a domestic violence episode. This is DOWN THE ROAD FROM MY HOUSE. Yes, I read about this all the time, but this happened in my backyard. The news trucks were still there when Meg had to go down that road, on her bus, to pick up the other kids living on that road to go to school. I know that the family had children, but I don’t know if they were school-aged. I am sure that she will have questions when she gets home today. I am totally unsure what to say. Here’s why. Do I just tell her that someone had an accident? My fear is that word will spread around school, she’ll know I didn’t tell her the truth, and then things will be worse. Or do I try to explain in simple terms what happened? Because I don’t know why domestic violence happens. So how can I explain to my 7 year old that sometimes people do awful things to each other in the name of love?

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8 thoughts on “A little help from my friends

  1. I have no idea what you should tell her. I would probably go with some version of the truth, just in case she hears about it at school, but YIKES.

  2. tough one K. i say w/ kids it’s best to be honest w/ them about it in the simplest terms possible. meg will hear about it at school and she’s likely to hear a lot of things you don’t want her to. but, you can have at least some control by talking w/ her first and telling her what you think she needs to know about it.it is scary when something like that happens literally in your own backyard.

  3. I wish I had some advice on this that would make the situation easier, but I don’t. The only thing I can assure you of is that kids are not dumb, and if they are talking about it at school, she will want to know and talk to you about it. I wouldn’t lie to her, but you obviously want to protect her from the whole truth. If she asks, maybe tell her that sometimes not all people get along with each other, and the police need to be called (good time to assure her the police are there to make her safe) to make sure everything is okay.It’s tough. I wish our kids could grow up in a bubble but then they’d be even more screwed up I think.

  4. OMG! How awful is that?!? I usually go with the truth with my kids, but I know Meg, and how she is. I guess I wouldn’t lie, because like you said, it would NOT be good if she does hear the truth and thinks you lied. A simple version of the truth, leaving out the really rough stuff, you could always go with the “someone got hurt, but I don’t know how badly” thing, and then take cues from her. You wouldn’t exactly be lying, but definatly NOT telling her the whole truth unless she brings it up.

  5. I agree with the other commenters that you should tell her the truth, but make it as simple as possible. If you say nothing at all, she only has what she hears from other kids to go off of and that could probably leave her much more scared.So sorry that something like this happened!

  6. kvwrThat really is such a tough call. If she heard other things at school, would she ask you about them?My kids are younger and we try to be truthful about things with them, but obviously, not a situation that holds this much gravity.

  7. Some of the other commenters have good ideas. Maybe the one thing I wouldn’t say is that it was done in the name of love. Since I’m sure you all say “I love you” and stuff like that, it would suck if she thought it was something that could happen to her, you know? I hope that made sense. That’s just where my mind went when I read the end of your post! Good luck!

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