Talking terrorism with children in the approach to peak holiday season …

Let’s face it, this is not a subject which we ever thought about discussing with our children.

But after the recent attacks around the U.K, terrorism is one of the most serious threats we face in the world today, and with holiday season fast approaching, police, the foreign office and the travel industry are telling British holiday makers to be alert and be prepared.

As a mother to a very inquisitive little 6 year old girl, terrorist attacks and threats were unfortunately something which I had to sit down with my partner and decide how best  to inform yet not scare her.

Thankfully, the other two are oblivious and just happy watching Baby TV or dinosaurs singing on YouTube.

 

It is terrifying enough for us, let alone little people with imaginations which work ten to the dozen about the simplest of things, such as ‘Which bow to wear in my hair today? Where shall I hide this dinosaur? Which toy should I chew first?’

 

 

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With a partner who is heavily involved in news and the goings on around the region, the Manchester bombing was something which effected our household massively.

Whilst constantly wanting to have the news on the second my other half left for work, so to keep an eye on everything happening, it was hard, because little eyes were around and I wanted to shield them from the horrific scenes and deeply upsetting appeals from family members looking for loved ones.

 

One part of me wanted to protect my children from the nastiness of the world, and thought ‘Ignorance is bliss!’, but then on the other hand, I was worried that my six year old would hear whisperings at school and become anxious and worried.

 

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A four minute film has been released this week, depicting a firearms attack at a hotel, which stresses to holiday makers to RUN, HIDE, TELL.

 

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It may seem self explanatory and pretty basic, but this could be life-saving advice.

 

The short film has received mixed views. Some say ‘Too much scaremongering’ ‘Making people scared to go on holiday’ and ‘Should we even mention this to our children?’

 

 

Personally, I wouldn’t show this film to anyone 11 or under.

So I took to the internet to see what alternatives were available, to aid parents in approaching this difficult matter.

 

I came across a book called ‘Please explain terrorism to me’, by author Laurie Zelinger.

 

 

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Zelinger is a certified phycologist and has a range of books which tackle sensitive everyday situations, and complemented with colourful artwork, explains new and frightening concepts, in an age appropriate manner, helping parents to reassure their children.

 

I love it ! I straight away purchased this and was really impressed with the strategic setup of the book.

Dr. Zelinger provides parent coaching to further the dialogue in her P-E-A-R-L-S of Wisdom section (Prepare, Explain, Answer, Reassure, Listen, Safeguard) where parents and caregivers are given scripts to guide them, as well room for individuality.

 

This book is aimed at a much younger age group than the recently released film, and I think is a must buy for any parent looking for advice on how to explain this horrendous subject in a diplomatic and sensitive manner.
I purchased ‘Please explain terrorism to me’  at http://books.telegraph.co.uk/Product/Laurie-Zelinger/Please-Explain-Terrorism-To-Me–A-Story-for-Children-PEAR/20533020 .

 

 

 

Some parent’s have also decided that they will watch the film for themselves, and then decide together, how best to explain to their child, as lets face it, no two children are the same.

 

 

It may seem daunting and we always tend to have the ‘It won’t happen to me’ attitude, but I feel much happier having discussed this with my little girl.

 

 

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