Children are only kids for a short amount of time and maybe it is better to allow them to grow up without the worries of what parents have or is that just being ignorant of what surrounds us?
In recent times turning on the news is a frightening business when terrorism is in the media and showing no chance of calming down. Bombs are going off and if anything, the popularity of Ariana Grande meant that even with all the shielding in the world your child inevitably heard about the devastation on that day. How do we parent our kids in this increasingly dangerous world? Should we ignore the events happening around us? Shielding our children in the hope that they can live happily and without fear. Children are only kids for a short amount of time and maybe it is better to allow them to grow up without the worries of what parents have or is that just being ignorant of what surrounds us?
I suppose each parent will have their own ideas on how to parent their child through this difficult time and each should do as they consider to best for their child. Each child is different and some are more sensitive than others and this should be considered before you decide on how to discuss the issues of terrorism with your youngster.
- Use age appropriate terms- Little kids will not understand why anyone is choosing to harm us and will struggle with it due to their age and this needs to be considered. School age children will have a better understanding but not all will handle the information you share well. It is acceptable that some kids may change the subject when you broach it, seeming disinterested and you should take your lead from your child. Others will be overly interested and concerned.
- Discuss evil but then show them the good- Raising kids who think the world is all bubbles and marshmallows is unrealistic as there is evil and we must face that together. Not only are there terrorists but other people who serve as a risk to your children and they should be aware of this. Explain terrorism and what they are doing but in the same wave show them the real heroes of today, the people who save lives every single day and show them the real-life accounts of normal humans who behaved heroically in the aftermath of a tragedy.
- Encourage questions- Your child may or may not have lots of questions and you should answer them as honestly as you can. Usually kids want to know will someone hurt them or their town so you should work to reassure them.
- Remind them that life must go on- It is sad and indeed tragic when events happen that change the lives for so many but one thing is certain life must go on. People must return to normal and not let those harming others deem our future to sadness or tragedy. Life is for living and you need to tell your kiddies that and show them that if we stand together we will overcome adversity in times of difficulty.
R.I.P to those who have lost their lives, due to terrorist attacks.
Written by Emma Hayes, staff writer with Family Friendly HQ