Mass shootings were at an all time high this past weekend. Our hearts were broken to hear what happened at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, a bar in Dayton, Ohio and the multiple violent shootings in Chicago. We know that so many lives will never be the same again because of these senseless tragedies.
Since this type of violence is becoming more common we need to take some action steps on how we address these situations with the loved ones around us, especially if we have children.
Here a few steps we can take:
1. Explain to them what happened.
Depending on the age of your child you will want to share according to what they can handle emotionally and depending on the circumstances. Young children do not need to know all the details of a situation (and some parents might not want to share at all) but an older child might see it on the news. Share gently what happened to what you feel the child can handle according to their age. Be wise about how this topic is handled as it could definitely cause fear, anxiety, and depression. Use good judgment, like not sharing graphic details, especially to younger children. Talk to older children about questions they may have or about their feelings regarding what they have heard so that you can provide emotional support and direction.
2. Equip them with what to do in the situation.
If your child happened to be in that situation you will want to equip them with what to do. A few things to mention to them would be looking for exits, running, hiding, and/or fighting. They also need to know how to get help, call 911, and report suspicious activity to an adult. You might also want to look into safety classes and check out other safety tips online on what to do in a public or school situation.
3. Pray and help.
Many times when something like this happens you or your family might feel strongly about wanting to do something to help. One of the most important things you can do is pray for the victims, their families, and all who were involved. God knows their needs as we lift them up in prayer. A few other ideas would be donating blood (or raising awareness about it and mobilizing a group), fundraisers to helps support victim families (starting a GoFundMe or working with a bank), and offering them support through meals, sending cards, donations, mobilizing teams for support through your church or neighborhood, etc.
Ladies, let's take some time to pray for all the horrible events this weekend. I pray that the Lord would give them comfort and mercy from their grief. Now if you have had a similar experience or would like to add anything else helpful to this list please do so in the comments below so that it will help others. We appreciate it and thank you in advance.
"He heals the broken-hearted and He binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3