Pembrokeshire mum Louise used our A Problem Shared… page to ask us how she can talk to her son about terrorism.
How do I explain all the terrorism in the news to my boy? He’s eight and very curious of the world and has lots of questions. I don’t want to lie to him but how do I explain what happened in Brussels and Paris (and elsewhere) to him without scaring him senseless? Is anybody else going through this at the moment, I can’t be the only one fielding such questions?
Our FamilyPoint advice to Louise
I can understand how difficult a subject like terrorism is to broach with your young son and as you say, something a lot of parents must be facing in the light of recent events. As you’ve highlighted, the best approach is to be honest with him and to answer his questions as clearly as you can. Don’t be afraid to tell him you don’t know if he asks something you really can’t answer and tell him you’ll try to find out for him.
Take your lead from him, find out what he has heard and what he thinks about that and what specifically concerns him. You need only address those specific concerns to begin with and only answer in as much depth as he needs. Sometimes as adults we go into far too much detail, when a simple answer might have been enough at that point. Children will come back again if they want to know more.
Photo Credit: mpimentel001 via Compfight cc
If you have already discussed good and bad behaviour with him that could be a starting point – by explaining that unfortunately there are some people in the world who do bad things because of what they believe. Rather than labelling people as “bad” people it is better to label their behaviour. The important thing is to emphasise that there are far more people who do good things in this world and to reassure him that he is surrounded by people who love and care for him.
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Do you have any advice for Louise?
Have your children been asking questions about the tragedies in Brussels and around the world? What did you say to them? Please share your advice, wisdom and tips in the comments section below.
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