After kids’ TV last night a woman spoke: If you have any questions about what happened in Russia you can ring this number to speak to an adult at the Red Cross. My eight-year-old didn’t comment or seem to react to this, which I’m hoping means she hasn’t heard about the children, the school, the screams, the deaths, the terror. I turned off the television, hugged her more often than usual and didn’t buy a newspaper with images spread across the covers. But on Monday a schoolfriend might tell her anyway. Can you imagine the frightened fragments kids would tell each other? Can you imagine the fear children would feel after hearing something like that and knowing that it is true? If I knew she would hear about it, I would want to talk with her first. But most of all, I want her not to hear about such terrors until she is old enough to do as we do: block it out, help by sending money if she can, but know that she is safe. Mostly.

It’s not fair. Not at all.

8 thoughts on “i hope she doesn’t hear

  1. Beernd

    It’s awful. But who said life is fair…? Perhaps she should know it isn’t. Not this way, of course, please not this way…

  2. vika

    We had horror stories in school long before our parents started speaking honestly to us.

  3. Scott

    Now that I think of it, I learned about this type of stuff in school well before my parents talked to us about them. I remember playing “Vietnam War” with the kids outside, although I didn’t really get it. When I was eleven or twelve, the first person killed in the Tyelnol Murders was Mary Kellerman, a girl in my year at grammar school. We’d been in first grade together. There were camera crews all over the playground. And then of course, a whole generation of American kids was watching when when the first Space Shuttle exploded. I wonder how much worse it is now. The media is certainly more pervasive, and the images more graphic, and in the case of what went down in Russia, the scale more horriffic, but our innocence is always getting eaten away by the evening news. Having said that, I hate to think of the nightmares your daughter could get from that story. Luckily, the actual terror is likely to stay a long way from Bergen.

  4. dr. b.

    If you choose not to tell her about it before school you may want to decide what you will say to her if she hears about it at school. This tragedy could make younger children afraid to go to school.

  5. aldahlia

    As a kid we played “AIDS tag” and the rumor that spread through my third grade class was that orange clouds at sunset meant that a nuclear bomb had gone off in Russia. I don’t think that there’s anyway to protect schoolchildren from thier own inventions and gossip about world events.

  6. Marika

    I remember turning of radios and avoiding TV during the news. I was 6-7 years old and terrified of war. I had nightmares. There’s no good way of trying to explain the terror in Beslan to children. Or the terror, the wars, the famines or disasters anywhere in the world. But trying to is good.

  7. bicyclemark

    I have no children… except my inner child… but I still think you should talk about it.

  8. Jill

    I’m not telling her. There will be plenty of time for understanding the world, there will be and there are already plenty of times when she’s already heard and needs to talk about it. And perhaps children actually are SUPPOSED to deal with these things by playing AIDS tag, War in Iraq, Vietnam War or believing that orange sunsets mean t a nuclear bomb had exploded in Russia.

    Don’t worry, I’ll keep listening to her. Thanks for your stories.

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