Last night before going to bed I checked my Facebook for any news on the Champions League which is being held in my home town Cardiff. After the recent terrorist attack on Manchester I was praying things would be okay and people would be safe. Everything was fine…everyone had a great night, no one was hurt and Real Madrid won!
I then see a post ‘Hope everyone is OK in London’ I already suspect what is happening. I continue to scroll down and see more and more posts about an attack on London bridge.
I cant sleep, I decide not to read about it before bed. Living with a panic disorder is hard enough without having to see this.
I cant sleep, intrusive thoughts enter my head. Is this what life is going to be like now? What sort of future will my children have? I am playing out scenarios in my head…I know I shouldn’t but the panic has already began. I just want to keep my babies safe.
I wake this morning and watch the news. Seven dead and almost 50 in hospital. Dreadful news. How do we explain these acts of terrorism to our children? Should I hide what is going on in the world or educate them? Many parents are faced with the same dilemma.
Not knowing what to do I have searched the web for answers. I come across a video and some great advice from NSPCC.
The Times and NSPCC – How to talk to your children about terrorism.
Talking about terrorism: tips for parents
Children are exposed to news in many ways, and what they see can worry them. Our advice can help you have a conversation with your child:
- listen carefully to a child’s fears and worries
- offer reassurance and comfort
- avoid complicated and worrying explanations that could be frightening and confusing
- help them find advice and support to understand distressing events and feelings
- children can always contact Childline free and confidentially on the phone and online.
It’s also important to address bullying and abuse following the terrorist attacks.
- Some children may feel targeted because of their faith or appearance
Look for signs of bullying, and make sure that they know they can talk with you about it. Often children might feel scared or embarrassed, so reassure them it’s not their fault that this is happening, and that they can always talk to you or another adult they trust. Alert your child’s school so that they can be aware of the issue.
- Dealing with offensive or unkind comments about a child’s faith or background
If you think this is happening, it’s important to intervene. Calmly explain that comments like this are not acceptable. Your child should also understand that someone’s beliefs do not make them a terrorist. Explain that most people are as scared and hurt by the attacks as your child is. You could ask them how they think the other child felt, or ask them how they felt when someone said something unkind to them. Explain what you will do next, such as telling your child’s school, and what you expect them to do.
More advice can be found on the NSPCC website. Please click HERE
As I said earlier, living with a panic disorder is hard work. I have had problems with anxiety and panic since I was a child.
Some children may be feeling confused, scared and alone right now. Childline offers advice and support to children who may be feeling this way.
If you child is worried they can call Childline free anytime on 0800 1111
Childline also offer advice on extremism, terrorism and radicalisation. Attacks and bombings and support if you are being bullied or treated badly.
More information can be found on Childline’s website – please click HERE
Hope this advice helps.
Advice and video from NSPCC