How do we Talk to Children about the Terrorist Attacks?

It is a frightening and unpredictable world not only for us as adults but also for children. Children worry about all sorts of things from having to read out loud in class, friendships all the way to the dangers of the world; children are generally worried little folk! So what can we do as parents? Do we talk about the terrorist attacks? We discussed in our Helping children through bereavement blog post about talking openly with children and this is very much the advice resonated from some of the leading psychiatrists and psychologist, encouraging parents, to talk to their children about the recent events. In an article in the BBC news online, consultant Clinical Psychologist Emma Citron, who specialises in children and trauma, says families should not shy away from talking about such events. “Give children basic facts, tell them what it is they want to know, ask them what they would. Support them and comfort them and be there for them, hug them, just respond to how they’re responding emotionally. Take the lead from them – we need to know what it is they want answers to.” Here are some of our key thoughts but all children are unique so always keep in mind your child’s age, temperament and maturity: Be open and honest and make sure your responses are age appropriate. Try not to bombard children with too much information, try and keep it simple, less is more. Make your child feel safe; most children want to know that they are safe so this is key. Try not to dismiss their worries by saying “you don’t need to worry”,...

Keeping your children safe online

In todays day and age, all children have access to the internet via a number of different devices, be it tablets, phones, laptops or desktop computers. It’s a vital part of life for most children, primarily for school work, but also for social communications. It’s hard to keep track of what your child is looking at when they are online, especially when they are using their mobile phones etc away from home. So here at Niche Etiquette Children we thought that it would be useful to share some tips on how to keep your children safe online and what is expected of them when they are communicating online. Set parental controls on all devices that have internet access Spend time with your child online. Find out what they like to do when they are online. Talk about the websites and aps they like to use. This will help you to see what they are accessing and allow you to comment if you think that something they are looking at isn’t quite right for them. Teach your child to ask you if they are allowed to complete forms online. A lot of forms are fine and are used by websites to collect data, but some might open you up to all sorts of issues, so from the first time they start to access the internet make it clear that they have to confirm with an adult before they can submit details Speak to your child about things they might have seen online that have made them uncomfortable. Let them know that they can talk to you at any time about...

How to handle school interviews

School interviews can be a nerve-wracking time for both parents and children. We’ve compiled our top tips for handling interviews and giving your child the best possible chance at being successful in the interview. If your child gets nervous easily, practice some deep breathing techniques with them to help them control their nervousness. Explain to your child in advance what will happen on the day so that there aren’t any surprises for them. They will be more relaxed if they know what to expect. Practice with your child how they should introduce themselves and enter the interview room. When should they sit down, how should they sit etc? Help your child to have a good understanding of what the school has to offer and what they feel particularly attracts them to the school. Talk through with your child what strengths they have that would fit with the school, help them to articulate this in a clear manner. Practice standard questions that schools usually ask, help your child to feel comfortable with how they should answer these questions. Try not to put pressure on your child, we all know how important these interviews can be if you are very keen on a particular school, but try not to let your child feel this pressure, it won’t help them in their interview. Have a knowledge of current affairs, your child may be asked about what’s happening in the news etc so help them to have an awareness of what’s happening in the world. Help your child to think of some questions that they can ask the interview panel. What do they...

Helping children through bereavement

Sadly, some children have to cope with a member of their family passing away. It’s very hard as an adult to deal with something like this, but as a child, who may not understand death, it can be nearly impossible. As someone close to a child in this situation, you will want to try to help as much as possible, whilst dealing with your own grief, and so we wanted to try to give you a few words of guidance to help you and your loved ones through such a difficult time. Don’t be afraid to talk about it We can often feel uncomfortable talking about death, we don’t want to say the wrong thing or offend people and so we often avoid it altogether. But for child, like adults, talking about death and their loved one can really help. Spend time talking about their memories, their favorite times together, what the person was like. Let them know that just because they aren’t there anymore, they won’t be forgotten. Try to answer questions honestly Often children have never experienced death before and so won’t know how to deal with it. They won’t know the correct language to use, the appropriate and inappropriate things to say, the questions they can and can’t ask. If they ask you a question, try to answer it honestly, no matter how uncomfortable you might feel. It will help their grieving process if they try to understand what has happened. Don’t be alarmed if they don’t seem to take it all in It can take a while for a child to understand the finality of...

Enjoy reading with your children and make everlasting memories

Children have great imaginations, making up magical worlds with their favourite toys. A great way to help children develop their own imaginations is to read stories to them regularly. It’s also a great way to spend quality time with them bonding, whilst creating life long memories for them. And if that wasn’t enough, research shows that children enjoy reading do better in all subjects at school than others! Reading to children is an art form, we’ve all listened in with a tinge of jealousy as someone really makes a story come to life when they are reading to child. So, to help us all make story ready as enjoyable as we can for everyone, we’ve compiled some top tips. Have a regular reading time It doesn’t have to be at the same time each day, but perhaps before or after the same activity. For example, after breakfast, before bedtime or after playgroup. Or better still, all 3. Get comfortable  Find a favourite chair, a cozy nook or bed to snuggle up on. Get close, have a cuddle and dive in.  Let them decide what book to read Children change their mind with the wind, one minute they are into dragons, the next trains. So, to help ensure they are really interested in listening to the story, let them chose the topic. Talk about the pictures Pictures say a thousand words. As well as reading the words, spend time looking at the pictures with your children, ask them questions about the characters and what they can see on each page. Discuss the book  To help your child empathise with the...