Talking to children about Boston

By Perry Russom

Talking to children about Boston

April 19, 2013 Updated Apr 22, 2013 at 10:39 AM EDT

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The around-the-clock graphic news coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings may be difficult for some kids to handle.

Dr. Michael Lavin, a psychiatrist at Lourdes Mental Health Center, said parents should try to limit their children's exposure to the story.

"I think it's a time of tension and stress and I think that that time children want to know the answer to a few things, mainly are they okay, are they safe? Is mom and dad safe? And is this all going to affect them?" said Dr. Lavin.

Dr. Lavin also said kids are smart and that you should give them a chance to express themselves.

"If they're talking about things in a disturbing way, try to reassure them, talk about all the good in terms of the people out there trying to help in the tragedy in the situation," said Dr. Lavin.

Johnson City mom, Amanda Tower, has a 5-year-old son. He started asking questions about the bombings a few days after it happened Monday.

"He seems to be handling it better than I thought,"said Tower. "He seems a little nervous about it, he seems a little scared, but he's more curious in the end than anything else."

Tower says she has been honest with her son about the attack.

"I made him promise me to grow up to be one of the good guys. I mean, because my worst nightmare is for him to grow up and be on the other side of things," said Tower.

On Facebook we asked, "How do you tell your children about Boston?" Melissa Jae wrote, "I tell my 5-year-old that there is a bad man, men who hurt people and that our police are catching them. She is too young to understand the details."

Mindy Bosket posted how she's handing it with her daughter. She wrote, "I'm not telling her anything, she is 3. She does not need to know the evil of this world yet."

While the parenting responses on how to handle the situation are mixed, Dr. Lavin says it's important to limit how much news your children are watching. He says watching too much Boston coverage could disrupt a child's sleep cycle and cause even more stress.