The following guest column by Amy Hatch first appeared on chambanamoms.com, where she is the co-founder. If you have friends or family in the Champaign-Urbana area, please make sure they know about this great resource.
As a writer I should know better and as a parent, it is critical: Words are meaningful and when we use violent language to describe our feelings we are contributing to a culture that is numb to the effects of killing.
Since Dec. 14 when a madman entered an elementary school intent on slaughter, I’ve become hyper-aware of the permeation of violence all around me and my kids. Last week, my 8-year-old daughter was innocently playing an app on her iPod that involves fairies and magic potions while we drove from one place to another, and she asked me if she could “buy a gun to kill some people” in her game.
I replied maybe a little more vehemently than I intended to and opened up a discussion with her about guns and killing and violence that I probably could have handled with more parenting aplomb. I’m here to tell you that talking to your kids about guns and violence is a lot harder than telling them where babies come from.