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”, instead you could say, “Yes, I can see that you are worried”.
- Lead the way, be calm and model the calm approach.
The NSPCC provides a lovely article about supporting children worried about terrorism and are always there to help both you and your children.
There are also many great books that you and your child can read together that can help with general worries such as The Huge Bag of Worries by Virgina Ironside.
Hoping you found this helpful and our thoughts are very much with everyone.
Etiquette Trainer & Strategic Intervention Life Coach