The NSPCC has now published advice to help parents talk to their children about terrorism.
1. Listen carefully to a child’s fears and worries
It’s crucial to make sure their concerns are heard and not dismissed – once you know what they’re worried about, you can understand.
Acknowledge their fears instead of making them feel silly for being afraid.
2. Offer reassurance and comfort
The NSPCC advises avoiding complicated and worrying explanations that could leave children more frightened and confused – instead, reassure and comfort them.
It’s important to remind children that they’re safe and surrounded by security.
3. Help them find advice and support
Children can find it easier to understand distressing events and feelings by talking to services such as Childline, which is free, confidential and available 24/7.
Siobhan Freegard, founder of Channel Mum agrees it is important to approach the topic in an age appropriate manner.
“Talking to your children about terrorism is a horrible job, but a necessary one in the modern world and how you tackle it depends very much on their age,”
“Very small kids really don’t need an in-depth explanation as they won’t be able to fully understand and it will only frighten them further. If you really need to say something, explain some people have ‘been very naughty and will get told off for it.’
A quick ’round up of additional tips from some of our contributors:
‘Don’t make this a topic pre-bedtime, unless you want nightmares…’
‘Younger kids can understand the concept of good guys and bad guys, which might be useful here…’
‘Encourage them to make a gesture if they want to; from writing a poem or drawing a picture to lighting a candle…’
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