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How You’re Talking To Kids After Tragedy

Flickr -- Creative Commons

As adults searched for answers tied to the recent shootings at Jewish centers in Johnson County, Kan., we wanted to know how you were handling questions about the acts of violence from children.  

A male suspect is now in custody on murder charges for the shootings that took the lives of William Corporon, 69, his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Underwood, and Terri LaManno, 53, on Sunday.

It would’ve been hard for children to miss the local, national and international coverage that followed.  

On the air and online, we asked you this question all week: What do you say to kids after a community tragedy?

Some of you suggested emphasizing messages of love to children in the wake of violence.

“We believe all kids should know about the power hate can carry but realize that the power of love is far greater,” @kcmetromomstells us on Twitter. “Teach kids love.”  

On Facebook, Julie Levine tells us that her children attend Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy on the Jewish Community Center campus and had friends in the building at the time of the shooting, “so there was no avoiding the topic.”

“They were going to hear about it and we preferred they hear it from us first,” she writes. “We talked ... about why it's so important to be able to express your feelings and listen to others' opinions. We said a very sad, very confused, very angry man who didn't know how to express his feelings in a useful way let all his anger build up and acted in a horrible way.”

PaKou Her tells us that in times of tragedy, she channels the wisdom of the beloved PBS character, Mr. Rogers.

She quoted him on Facebook: "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world."

See other highlights from the Twitter conversation below.

For the full Twitter stream, follow the #TellKCUR hashtag.  

KCUR and KCPT also are working together to collect messages of love from our community and all over the globe to share and empower a united response against hate. Share your message here.

Tell KCUR is part of a new initiative to engage the community and shine a light on your experiences and opinions. We’ll ask a new question every week and then share your feedback on the air and online. See our arsenal of questions — and your answers.

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