Dec 11, 2013

Should You Shelter Kids from Tragedy? (This Dad Didn't and Look What Happened)

There's always been the tension of sheltering kids vs. exposing kids to real life tragedy.  This is especially true when the tragedy is up close and personal.

Some would say that kids are not ready to cope with tragedy, while others say it prepares them for the realities of life and makes them stronger.

Here is the story of a father who chose to NOT shelter his daughter from personal tragedy.  It's hard to argue with the result.  Watch this incredible story and see if it changes your perspective.

What do you think?  Should you shelter kids from tragedy?  Why or why not?  Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.


This is crazy Dale. You keep hitting me right in my stride. this is like the 3rd blog post in 6 months that is dealing with exactly what I am dealing with....Today...Today was the day 2 years ago my gave birth to Joshua Atreyu Bridger. Two days earlier we had found out he had died in his mothers womb. It took us 73 hrs to give birth to his lifeless body. Our boys 8 and 6 at the time were in the room when the doctor told us. "I'm sorry there's not heartbeat." They were sitting less than 10 feet away. They were there throughout the experience. And we still continue to live through the tragedy and decide how to approach each question, concern, and tear. Today we will send orange birthday balloons to Joshua after school in a park. Sometimes we wonder if we are doing the right thing, or if we should do what some people say, and just "put it behind you." But we never do. We treat Joshua like he always will be a member of our family. Today has been particularly hard. Thank you for this post.

Joe Bridger

The emotions that tragedy bring forward are real. Hurt, anger, fear, desperation and we will all deal with those at some time in our life. Kids need to know that those emotions are okay - but then we must move toward healing. Knowing that there is joy in the morning, knowing that God will never leave us or forsake us is something each of us need to process through. If we, as adults, can be real with our emotions that tragedy take us through - our children will learn that it is okay to feel those things even though we can not stay there. I would rather my children process through tragedy with me and that we can wrestle through emotions together. I would rather model for them the reality of faith that sometimes I don't have much and sometimes it is more than I can even breath in. If they learn as they grow, then hopefully this will also bring them to faith in Jesus Christ and know that all of this is okay. As we do, we all get to experience the healing that only His Holy Spirit can bring.

I'm a Children's Ministry Director today in large part because I made decisions about my life as a 10 year old & have stuck with them to this day. My father died when I was 10 in a boating accident. I wasn't sheltered from most of what went on. I knew that he was an incredible Christian man & promised God when my dad died that I would do whatever I could to continue dad's Christian legacy on this earth. I also informed God that he would have to step into my father's role in a whole new way as my heavenly father. I was very serious about all this as a 10 year old and want to make sure the kids in my ministry are ready should tragedy touch their lives. They're not too young to make big decisions about who and what they will be.

We should not hide the realities of dying from our children. It is a part of life that each of us will face. I believe she will be stronger and have a heart to help others, children and adults, who suffer this loss. This is what er are supposed to do--learn from our trials and sufferings so that we can help others going through the same things. God has given her a wonderful gift. I pray she will always use it to bring Him glory.

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