After the recent shooting in Las Vegas on 1 October, which multiple sources are referring to as “the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history”, we can’t help but fear for our own safety, as well as the safety of our loved ones.
Mom and blogger Whitney Fleming of Playdates on Fridays elaborated in a Facebook post following the horrific shooting that there are “no safe places anymore, which is every parents’ worst nightmare”, and what we should do instead to protect our children. We think it's parenting advice well worth mentioning.
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She begins by quoting another parent, "It was crazy - I laid on top of the kids. They're 20. I'm 53. I lived a good life," McGarry said. The back of his shirt bore footmarks, after people ran over him in the panicked crowd.”
Then she continues, “There's no safe places anymore, which is every parents' worst nightmare. And while I am grief-stricken for the tragic events that occurred in Las Vegas last night while I lay peacefully sleeping in my bed, while I am grief stricken and filled with rage and nauseous with the weight of how many lives this impacted, I am not shocked."
Her words are chilling as she explains the harsh reality of today's world after reflecting on last Sunday's shooting.
She continues, “In the coming days, there will be an incessant need to validate viewpoints on gun control. There will be references to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers. There will be finger pointing at the NRA and the lack of support for the mentally ill in our country.
"We won't agree, so nothing will change. So, I am not shocked that the deadliest mass shooting in our country happened last night, and I won't be shocked when it happens again -- because it will.”
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She explains that the best thing she can do for her children is explain once more what they should do if, god forbid, they ever find themselves in a situation similar to the horrific shooting:
“Instead, I will go over — again — what my children should do if they ever encounter gunfire. I will explain to them when they should run, when they should hide, and when they should remain silent. I will prepare them for this world and pray they will never need to use the information. I will tell them to look for the helpers, because they are always there. I will hope they remember my tips to guide them to safety. And I will encourage them to be kind to everyone they meet, because you never know the heartache they are carrying. If only we could clearly see and know how to help those among us that are most damaged inside before they unleash their pain on others.”
“There are no safe places anymore,” she repeats. "And as we release our kids out into the world, oftentimes we won't be there to lay over their bodies, protecting them from gunfire. All we can control is our own behaviors, the love we have for others and the hope we can still find in our hearts. And when we don't know what to do, when senseless acts of violence rattle us to our core, when the world seems to come unhinged, the only thing we can do is try to do good.”
She concludes, “Do something — anything — good today. Do it for someone you don't know. Do it for someone you dislike. Do it for someone because maybe, just maybe, it will stop them from hurting someone else. Because there are no more safe places, but we're all still in this life together.”
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The Las Vegas shooting has impacted the lives of so many people and our hearts are with all those who were affected by the tragic event.
And while we can only pray and hope that atrocities such as this do not continue to happen, we do think that this mom’s approach is one we should all take in ensuring that we do our bit to make the a world a better place as far as we can.
“I will encourage them to be kind to everyone they meet because you never know the heartache they are carrying,” she says, of her lessons and approach to parenting her children in the aftermath of the shooting.
“If only we could clearly see and know how to help those among us that are most damaged inside before they unleash their pain on others.”
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Have you spoken to your kids about the shooting? Which approach have you taken to discussing these issues with them? Tell us by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org and we may publish your comments.
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