Many families near Watertown, Mass., woke up Friday morning to the horrific sounds of gunshots and explosives. While the city and suburbs are still under lockdown as a massive manhunt intensifies, several families have turned to social media to share their experience and connect with family members.
Deborah McCurdy, who traveled to Boston with her 16-month-old daughter to visit with family, is currently in lockdown in Cambridge and has communicated with the Deseret News via email.
"There's a lot of tension and sadness in the air," McCurdy wrote. "My daughter woke up at 6 a.m. this morning, which is really unusual for her. Almost as if she could sense that something was wrong."
During the lockdown, McCurdy explained she has tried to keep a calm atmosphere for her daughter.
"It's hard because she is only 16 months old, but it's like she can sense the tension and the sadness in the air," McCurdy wrote. "We aren't allowed out, or even near windows, So no walks, or playgrounds today. We've been coloring, playing games, napping, and baking. I just want her to be safe and know that it'll be ok. I've been hugging her a little tighter all day, and just being extremely cautious and a little more patient with her. Just feeling really grateful for those fighting for our safety."
McCurdy continued to express her concern for those who have suffered.
"I've been keeping those families and our city in my prayers," McCurdy wrote. "Hugging my daughter a little bit tighter and just praying that all this will resolve and no more innocent people suffer from this tragedy."
Common Health also ran an article Friday morning titled "Psychiatrist: Tips for edgy parents at home in lockdown mode with kids" in which Dr. Gene Beresin, a child psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital, shared some professional advice. In the article, Beresin expressed that no one has a guideline to follow in such tramatic situations, but there are some things parents can do for their children.
"Well, first recognize that even the professionals (i.e. the experts in child development) aren’t trained for this kind of thing," Beresin wrote. "That doesn’t mean we’re without guidance; it just means we have to knowledgeably improvise. To that end, common sense is the best compass for all of us."
Beresin continued to list specific ideas, such as turning off any televisions and radios, play games or do projects with younger children and letting older teenage kids connect with their friends, to an extent.
"Remember to help your older children to avoid traumatizing the younger children," Beresin wrote. "Be very concrete: It is your job, as the parent, to talk to the younger kids. The older children might want to process endlessly, but that kind of processing, while potentially helpful for a teen, is going to unnerve the grade school child.
"At the same time, don’t be surprised at the response of your children. So far, my own kids and their friends are most annoyed to have a beautiful day disrupted. Smile and reassure at this understandable sentiment. Don’t criticize them for missing the point."
Many have shared on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram images of what they have done with those who are at home during the lockdown.
Sarah Sanders Petersen is an intern for Deseret News where she writes for Mormon Times and does other feature articles. She is a communications major and editing minor from Brigham Young University.