Boston Marathon Explosion: Explaining the Unexplainable to My Kids

The Boston Marathon was special this year because the last mile was dedicated to the Newtown families.  And now this?  I can’t begin to comprehend the horror those families experienced in real time as they were again surrounded by a brutal attack.

Can it get much worse?

Faster than my mind and emotions can process this detail overload, my kids are already firing questions at me.

It’s tough answering a question you just asked yourself.

boston marathon explosion explaining to kids

Micah caught the headline on a facebook thread as I clicked on the tab to open facebook.  I’m not sure I would have chosen to expose them to this information, since I’m barely processing it myself.  He demanded answers (aren’t we all?).

Just a few hours since the explosion and I’m stammering to explain it to my six and eight year old.

A place of victory turned into tragedy.

What I want my kids to know about the Boston Marathon explosion.

This is what I managed to tell my kids just an hour ago, in as simple of terms as I could manage.  I don’t want to forget.

I can’t give you a clear answer of why it happened.

The world is full of sin and sometimes people make bad choices to hurt other people.

It’s difficult to understand, but God doesn’t make people do good or do bad.

Just like God doesn’t stop you from hitting your sister (or brother).  We know that God is holding back (restraining) all the bad things that could happen – in other words, it could be much worse if God wasn’t in charge.

Even in tragedy, you can always find something good.

Bad people wanted to hurt a lot of people with those explosions.  And they did.  But more bombs were found that didn’t hurt anyone.  That’s a really good thing.

There are already a lot of stories of how people miraculously escaped being hurt.  We can thank God for his protection.

Guns, police, or strong things that people invent can’t keep every bad thing from happening.

That’s hard to accept.  But God is the only One that can really protect us. [Don't read into political views here!]

Brave people show up when bad things happen

It’s really amazing, but when the first explosion went off, people went running towards it rushing to rescue hurt people.

What I don’t want my kids to know about

Gore.

The burden of human carnage is too heavy for young children to carry.  They don’t have to see it to understand it.  A simple explanation that people were hurt and killed is plenty for their formative minds and emotions to handle.

Hype.

My children won’t hear or see the media hype the whodunit.  I don’t want them comparing images of the suspects with people they know, or looking for them when we’re out.

It bothers me that we glorify the killers and splatter their picture all the world.  Even my kids know that heroes deserve to be famous.  Not villains.  Please, can we not award villains with fame this time?

It’s tough being a parent on days like today.  

And my family and children are here safe with me.

Boston, we’re praying for you.

Erin

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Comments

  1. Momma Villanueva says:

    You did a great job explaining something so horrific to your little ones while still sheltering them from the worst of it. We are all praying for Boston tonight.

  2. Well said. And bravo [also] to the parents who must explain such to the tender ears and hearts of their children. Abortion next?

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