Boston bombings: What to tell your children

Social worker says communication important

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. - Kids were on the playground at The Genesis School in New Port Richey.  After Monday's tragedy in Boston, it's great to see them without a care in the world.

But David and his sister Emmalyn are aware something very bad happened.

Their mother Mandy Ronuckeo said they saw television coverage and asked questions.  "They asked questions about the kids being there and how many kids are hurt and what happened to kids."

Social worker Bonnie Martin has counseled children for 30 years on how to cope with traumatic events both at home and those seen on television.

"After 9/11 we had quite a few children who came in and were very anxious about it, so we needed to work with them," said Martin.

Martin says the most important thing parents can do after an event like the bombings in Boston is talk to their kids.

Although she says there is not one script for all ages.

"Children under the age of eight typically can be more frightened by what they see," said Martin.

Melissa Pappas, whose husband is serving in Afghanistan, does not shy away from showing her two kids what's happening in the world.

"We've talked about the bad people before.  We've been to New York and we've seen the Trade Centers and we've talked about bad people doing bad things.  But we let them know there are a lot more good people out there than bad and not to worry," said Pappas.

"They need to reassured if it is something far away that it is something that is very far away. They also need to be reassured that  the parent is in charge of protecting  their safety and doing their best and everything they can to make sure they stay safe," said Martin.

Martin says it's important to keep kids in their regular routine and keep check of  your own emotional reactions to such horrible events.

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