10 tips: Talking to Kids about Tragedy

10 tips: Talking to Kids about Tragedy

Kenya. The Navy Yard. It just never ends. Here are ten tips for talking with children about tragedy. Please feel free to add your own.

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  1. Total news BLACKOUT! That includes the radio, newspapers, tv and internet. Children will see a picture of people running in terror and want to know what happened. You don’t want that to happen. But if it does…
  2. Answer only the questions they ask and in the most circumspect way possible.
  3. If you broke the first rule and they are ASKING to watch the news, perhaps because they see you turn it off when they come into the room, tell them that there are adult shows and kids shows. The news is an adult show. (And if they ask why adults can watch kids’ shows but kids can’t watch adults shows…you can either tell them that it is because adults have already been kids – or you can tell them that if you don’t watch the shows you won’t know who the characters are when they beg you to buy the licensed merchandise!)
  4. Older children may hear things at school. Again, see #2. In addition, ask them what THEY’VE HEARD. That way, when some of it is nonsense, as it is bound to be - like the end result of a game of telephone – you can tell them it is not true. Then, you can choose to tell them what part of what they heard is true. Or you can choose not to. Regardless…
  5. Tell your child(ren) that what happened was far away and in a place they never go to. Even if you live in DC and we’re talking about the Navy Yard, in children’s terms, all of what I’m suggesting is true.
  6. Tell them that they are safe and this type of violence has never happened in their neighborhood (I hope for your sake, that this is true!).
  7. Tell them that these things  – the violence – almost never happen, which is why peope talk about it when they do.
  8. Remind them that the incident is over and, again, they are safe. When children see a report of something violent, even if it is the same or a similar clip of one incident, they think it is happening over and over again.
  9. After you’ve talked (and this is any time, not just on this topic), ask your child what they’ve just heard you say. That way, you’ll know if you need to repeat or clarify anything.
  10. Empower your entire family with information and a plan. If a child knows that if a stranger tries to take them they should scream bloody murder, stomp on their foot and run away, they’ll feel more empowered than a child who simply worries a stranger may try to kidnap them one day… We’ll have to talk about the limits of “stranger, danger” another time…

In the meantime, give the people in your life a hug and a kiss and tell them how much you love them.

Published Article/Recipes on Jewish Food Experience

Published Article/Recipes on Jewish Food Experience


Drumroll…I’m back with lots of new writing to come…

Go to Jewish Food Experience dot com to hear about “Foraging in my Suburban Garden.”


There are two original recipes of mine to accompany the story…

Both perfect for late summer, early autumn!

Five-Step Show-off Salad



Healthy Fruit Crisp



Have a meaningful Yom Kippur, joyous Sukkot and healthy New Year!


Drum roll….Success!

Drum roll….Success!

Okay, parents – put the Dora song in your head, “We did it, we did it, we did it, yay!” Per my previous post and many others before it, I have dreamed of a garden that could actually feed me (and others) for many years. It’s not much yet, as I only recently planted my new raised beds and still have seedlings to put into pots, but I present my first meal of the season, using vegetables from my garden! Phew! Sorry for the run-on, but I’m very excited!


Angel hair pasta with radish micro greens, peas and Parmesan.  And the best food on earth….Garlic Bread! Sounds fancy, huh?

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This is what we started out with. We needed to thin the radishes. So I pulled out the ones that were too close together…and found a way to eat them!

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There was so much dirt I didn’t even know if I could get it all off!

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But I did! Radish greens, like the tops of other roots that Americans don’t normally eat, are full of vitamins. And they even tasted good!

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You can’t see them so much in this picture, but trust me, they’re there and we ate them!

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“We did it, we did it, we did it, yay!”

I hope this is only the beginning of our suburban garden food.


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