As with any ‘sensitive issue’, talking about it is better than ignoring it.
This is our mantra when it comes to talking about sensitive topics, such as terrorist attacks.
Here are some top tips for talking to your child about troubling news:
1. “What do you think about this?” This will give a good platform for you to address anything they haven’t understood. If you don’t feel confident answering their questions you could watch the news together. These websites are child-friendly but also reduce the news to bite-size chunks that everyone will find informative:
2. “How are you feeling?” Feeling upset is normal. Reassure them of this. Talking about how we feel makes us feel better.
3. “The chance of being caught up in a terrorist attack is really small.” Terrorists only win if we respond with fear. Without giving them something else to worry about, you might point out that the chance of being hurt by a terrorist is many times smaller than being involved in something that happens every day – such as a traffic accident.
4. “The terrorists cannot possibly win” Stories of people coming together to help each other quickly follow any terrorist attack. Even if we wanted to, it would be impossible in this social media age to shield children from learning about the terrible consequences of terrorist acts. However, the stories of solidarity can be swamped by the horror-filled headlines. Point out the positive stories and discuss these too.
Further advice you might find useful