Growing up Jewish, each year, I remember having my family watch documentaries on the Holocaust. It was horrifically graphic for me. Not understanding why we- or ANYONE for that matter, would watch this, I asked. My mom said it was so that we would never forget. Another answer I got from a Hebrew school teacher was so that we wouldn't let it happen again. I was fairly certain that I would have been able to remember the atrocities just as easily if they explained the same things with words. I didn't need to see the actual footage. The visions are etched in my brain forever, and I wish I didn't have them there. I wish my parents had shielded my eyes, just long enough, so that one day, I might have made the decision to view it, or not.
I was in medical assistant school when 9-11 happened. Luckily, it was the heart semester, and we had a TV in our room for use that day. Once we heard, we left the the cardiac video in order to see the live feed of people jumping out of the WTC buildings, and the second plane hitting, and then, a tower, crumble before our eyes. I left. I couldn't take it anymore. While some people need to see it, I am not one of those people. The need to feel safe is more important to me than seeing the horror. It's there. I know. I can't stop it from happening.
I am ever vigilant for my children to feel safe. Are they? Well, to the best of our abilities, and with the protection of our Heavenly Father, they are. I think they need to know what sort of things are happening, but depending on their age, depends on exactly what they should be told. It's hard to determine what you want to explain, and what you want to keep from them. I think about how they might hear things on the bus, at school, at after school activities, etc. We don't have T.V., so it is easier for me to shelter and control what happens at home.
Consider your children, and those around you when you talk, view media, etc. I found that I had to quickly shut the laptop after a child came running around the corner as I had scrolled through my Facebook wall to see a very graphic picture of a man that was critically injured today in Boston. EEKS! I was grateful that I was quick on the motion, but just as quick to talk to the children at bed time and prayers. We talked about how a bomb went off, and killed some, and injured more. Then, we prayed for those involved, their families, the "helpers," and asked for G-d to be near us all. Psychology speaks of feeling safe during times like these. Please help your children to see those "helpers" around us. There are stories, mere hours after the fact, about how other racers finished the race and ran to the area hospitals just to give blood for those who will need it. The first responders, the other racers, the family members- all doing what they can, to serve one another.