Friday’s movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado was a tragic reminder for
parents that no matter how hard we try to protect our children, it is virtually
impossible to shield them from all danger. We live in an uncertain world where the
behavior of others is often unpredictable.
The only thing we truly have control over is our own actions and
how do those of us who are watching the television and reading the media
headlines respond when our children catch us emotionally enraptured by the
latest story developments?  How should we
explain what happened? What is appropriate for our children’s ears? What is better
left unsaid?  And, what can they learn
for the future?
we decide to explain the tragedy to our children, one thing must remain clear
and that is that we deliver our message in a responsible manner with the utmost
sensitivity and respect for the families who are experiencing the loss
Ø  Let
your tone convey the gravity of the situation.
  Children know very well by their parent’s
tone of voice whether a particular subject is to be taken seriously.  When tragedy strikes, parents should be calm
and reassuring while they explain the situation in practical terms with only
pertinent facts included. 
Ø  Keep
it age appropriate and in perspective.
  Youngest children should receive this information
on a need-to-know basis only and using very simple words. Older children may be
privy to more detail, but with limitations, as we still don’t want to scare
them unnecessarily. Be mindful of the media and make sure children do not have
unlimited access.
Ø  Teach
your children to empathize.
  A tragedy of this magnitude offers our
children the ability to learn how to sympathize with another person’s situation,
and to offer understanding and compassion. Children need to exercise their
empathy muscle so that when a situation arises they will know how to genuinely show
their support.
Ø  Use
the tragedy to strengthen survival skills.
  There is
always a lesson to be learned from tragedy, and as painful as it is to discuss,
children must gain wisdom from the experience. 
In this particular situation, it is a lesson to teach our children to
always be conscious of their surroundings, to heighten their awareness of
others, and to notice and identify suspicious behavior.  These skills may just wind up saving their
lives someday. 
    If you happened to miss the live courtroom newsfeed this morning as the 24 year old defendant, James Holmes, received his first words from the judge, here is the clip It is strikingly evident from this footage that the young man is deeply troubled.