Sunday, July 14, 2013

Repost: Coming to grips with Sandy Hook

I've contributed to the Orlando Sentinel's Moms at Work blog since 2010. The blog is changing content management systems and my old posts will no longer be available to the public, so I'm reposting them here, in the order that they were originally posted.

Dec. 19, 2012

So what do we do now?

After the funerals, the post-mortem psychoanalysis of the Sandy Hook killer and the debates about mental illness and gun control, what can concerned parents do next?

My guess? The best thing those of us who are not directly touched by last Friday's horrible incident can do is to go on with our lives. That's not to say that we should be unaffected by what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary; I think anyone would have to be made of stone not to feel a lump in his or her throat when hearing or reading about what is most parents' worst nightmare.

However, this is not a time to make drastic changes in a family environment or schedule, nor is it a time to revive the tired old mommy wars in a not-so-subtle attempt to slam working parents.

We should continue to reassure our children and answer their questions about the massacre in an age-appropriate way, to the best of our abilities. We should even talk with them about death, and what it means and is and isn't.

And while it's certainly a time to be vigilant and encourage our children to be watchful of their surroundings, it might be going a step too far to surreptitiously profile people who seem as though they might match the profile of mass shooting killers.

As difficult as it seems, this is definitely a time for parents to keep our wits about us and try to keep to our regular routines. I doubt that a few extra hugs and cuddles will hurt anybody or anything, though.

I quite literally shudder when I think about the terror felt by the children at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I'm terribly sad for those lost, those who experienced or heard the horror as it happened, the parents of the school's children and the entire community.

How are you and your family handling the aftermath of this terrible event?

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