Today my five year old asked me: “Mama, did you know there was a bomb at the airport?”
I was stunned and taken aback.
In an emotional attempt to make sense of it all, on Episode 8 of Distilled Parenting, I tell our story and give 7 points for you to take away and bring into your homes in your conversations with your children. Episode 8 of Distilled Parenting addresses an urgent issue facing parents today: How Do We Talk to Kids about Terrorism? I am not an expert but simply a parent trying to find my way. I share with you my discoveries and hope that you will do the same.
A fantastic book for talking about the big things with kids is called “Is Nothing Something?” by Thich Nhat Hanh.
7 Ways to Talk To Your Kids about Terrorism
- Gather information from your children. Don’t jump to answering their questions without getting more context. Ask questions and encourage them to divulge. Plus asking questions not only helps you gather information but it also buys you a bit of time to formulate your words.
- Be honest with kids. Kids are wise. They “get it”. Don’t be afraid of the big topics. Avoid showing the gore but be truthful with them. They live in this sometimes terrifying world with us.
- Make your child feel safe and secure. Kids need a calm, gentle leader. Let them know they are safe.
- Talk to your child about strange behavior, not strange people.
- Gather resources from experts, books for parents, and books for children
- Look for the helpers. In other words, find the good, the light, in all the terrible scenarios.
- Acknowledge & validate the child’s fear. The moment you sense your child is afraid or fearful, validate that fear, not by saying “It is all right, don’t be afraid,” but instead by saying, “Yes, that was scary.”
Thank you for being on this journey with me.
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