Death, destruction and violence....it's all over the news.
Horrorific images of the aftermath of the tsunami in Japan, bloodshed from the fire fight that brought down Osama bin Laden and other tragic stories can be found in our newspapers, blasted across TV screens in our homes and circulating around the Internet.
We can cover our kids eyes and ears when we see these things, but can we really keep them in the dark when it comes to the bad that happens in the world?
After speaking with a local first grader - who despite efforts from adults around her to shield her from the gruesome realities of the recent natural disaster in Japan, knew quite a bit about the death and destruction that had occurred - it became quite clear that kids today know more than we might hope. Parents and teachers have less control over what information children are exposed to than ever before.
So should we educate our kids about the world's evils or continue to try our best to shield them from the harsh realities to preserve their innocence as long as we can? And what happens when they do come to us with questions?
Tell us: How do you handle this dilemma with your kids? Did you tell them about Osama bin Laden or the tsunami in Japan? Have they come to you questions and if so, how did you respond?
You'll see members of our Family Council, an advisory group comprised of smart and engaged parents from the neighborhood, responding to these questions below in the comments section and we invite you and your circle of friends to join in the discussion by doing the same.
Family Forum is a feature on Patch that invites local parents to discuss issues that matter to them.
Wondering who are these local parents we tapped for our Council? Meet the members:
- Janet Grech - A Malverne mom with children enrolled at Our Lady of Lourdes School.
- Laura Murray- A Lynbrook mom who grew up in Malverne and is the current president of the Mothers of Malverne. She has two young children not in school yet.
- Gina Genti - A Malverne mom with two boys in elementary school.
- Andrea Shinsato- A West Hempstead mom with a 2-year-old and one child enrolled in Chestnut Street School.
- Theresa Walz- A West Hempstead mom whose children attend Cornwell Avenue School and West Hempstead Middle School.
- Loraine Magaraci- A West Hempstead mom with kids enrolled in West Hempstead Middle School and High School.
- Audrey Diaz Robles- A new mom to a 6-month-old baby.
- Dawn Wladyka- A Malverne mom with two students attending Our Lady of Lourdes School and one enrolled in Grace Lutheran PreSchool.
- Eileen Lynch O'Hara - A Malverne mother with three children enrolled at Saint Anne's School in Garden City and one child at the Brother Fox Latin School at Kellenberg Memorial High School.
- Maria Salcedo-Hafker - A Malverne mom who sends her children to Maurice W. Downing School and Davison Avenue School.
- Lori Lang- A Malverne native and mother of four whose children attend St. Thomas the Apostle School in West Hempstead.
- Jennifer Johnson- A West Hempstead mom with one child attending Cornwell Avenue School and another in day care.
Family Forum will also be the place for you to pose your questions about parenting topics and local issues that affect families. Where can we get information on local flu shot clinics for children? How do we talk to our children about peer pressure, bullying and protecting themselves online? How can we help our children's schools weather their budget cutbacks?
Have a topic or question you'd like to bring before the Family Council and fellow Patch readers? E-mail Tara.Conry@Patch.com