Mass. Dr. Tells Parents How to Answer Children's Tough Marathon Questions

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    Dr. Negar Beheshti says how you approach the Boston Marathon bombings topic with your children depends on their age (Published Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014)

    (NECN: Katelyn Tivnan) - The bombings are hard enough for adults to comprehend and even more difficult to explain to young children.

    “They say, ‘mommy, why?’ And I say, ‘people don't have love,’” says Katalina Rodriguez, a mother.

    This week, parents like Rodriguez are answering tough questions from their children. The mother of a 12- and 10-year-old, she says she is trying to keep her answers simple.

    “When something like that happens try to talk to them little by little and tell them there are bad people who do wrong things,” she says.

    Doctor Negar Beheshti is the assistant director of child division at UMass Memorial Medical Center. She says how you approach the topic with your children depends on their age.

    “Most important thing to all kids is they want to make sure they are safe and taken care of.”

    Dr. Beheshti says to limit preschool aged kid's exposure to coverage of the event. With school aged children, she says to talk about the situation and remind them events like it are rare.

    “Make sure you say, ‘this is scary for us, too, and we will do everything as adults across the city to keep you safe.’”

    “They ask why and stuff and I really don't know what to tell them because I don't know,” says Angela Valentin.

    But Beheshti says that's okay.

    “You don't need to minimize situation and don't need to answer every question. Saying ‘I don't know’ is okay sometimes.”

    She also says it’s important not to shy away from public events and large groups and recommends family outings including going to a sporting event or movie,

    “Keeping schedule as normal as possible; don't cancel things because you're feeling unsafe.”