Monday, 12 January 2015

Explaining the reality of life to your child

      Just how do you answer the questions your children ask about the terrible events in the news?

You cannot escape the news. With recent events across Australia and France, we are surrounded by the threat of terrorism and effects the actions of various people have had on the world. It is difficult to take in and events yourself as an adult, trying to make sense of it all, but for children it is even more confusing and often terrifying.

I have had a few questions about why the people are crying on television when we put it on and the news is the first things we see. I had to take a deep breath and consider how best to describe to a 4 year old who is just beginning to really make sense of the world. "They are crying because there were some bad people who wanted to hurt some people in another country." Is all I could think of to say at the time. She asked me which country and I told her France, to which she replied " I don't want to go to France then if there are bad people there" This is exactly what we do not need, so I tried to console her by explaining that the Police will sort out the bad people so she doesn't have to worry, she can still go to France.

It is not easy when the television is screaming out about "terrorists" , "killings" and "hostage situations" these are all new words which children hear which they want to learn the meanings of. Trying to explain to them in a child friendly manner being as truthful as you can without scaring them, is the hardest of jobs. I imagine the children in France caught up in the dreadful events in the last few days have many questions which their parents struggle to explain to them too.

I used my daughters questions to explain to her that there are bad people in this world, and that is why we do not want to be one of them. We have discussed just this morning how we can think of others to make other people feel good inside and how being kind to Policeman help them to catch the bad people. She asked if the bad people were bad because they didn't listen to their Mummy and Daddy. I liked this way of thinking about it so I said maybe she is right.

I read just the other day that the government wish to underline plans that people who work in childcare should report to them about "possible terrorists" who are in their care, showing extremist behaviors. Personally, I am not sure how a nursery nurse can label a child in their care as a "terrorist" , let alone how a toddler can be showing extremist behaviours. I am all for trying to stop these people before they strike, but surely it should be the adults around the children we should be wary of, rather than these young minds which can be easily moulded.

The best thing we can do to help our children is to teach them not to be afraid, that there are people out there who can try and protect them. We may not be able to totally protect our children from these "bad" people, but the least we can do is teach our children how to be nice to others and create a better future for themselves.

No comments:

Post a Comment