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Six year old taught about terrorists...

(68 Posts)
CarolPeletier Sat 04-Jul-15 07:25:23

Yesterday my daughters school had an assembly and did the silence for those slaughtered in Tunisia. It was explained that a man got silly ideas in his head and went and shot and killed lots of people on a beach. My daughter has just turned six and is now refusing to come to the seaside this weekend. I do not have the news on around her at home and have so far shielded her from the very scary world we live in, thinking there is plenty of time to find out about the evil out there and letting her remain innocent as long as possible.
AIBU to be upset that the school taught her about this and scared her. She has only just turned six and I think it's too much for her to take in - God it's too much for most adults to take in!
Also, any thoughts on how to reassure her now?

Altinkum Sat 04-Jul-15 07:29:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CarolPeletier Sat 04-Jul-15 07:32:54

Why though? Why does a young child NEED to know about terrorists and wars? I get she will need to learn eventually, but right now she is too young to understand and.comprehend it and it has scared her.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sat 04-Jul-15 07:38:09

Yabu, I don't think that is too young to learn about world events, happy or sad, and especially just because you want to be able to spend time at the beach. It's a real thing which happened to real people, not some fantasy the school made up.

You could try talking to her. I'm sure your reasoning at home will eclipse the way she learnt about it in assembly.,

cariadlet Sat 04-Jul-15 07:39:46

Our Key Stage 2 classes held a minute's silence, but we chose not to for the younger children for exactly that reason. When our Deputy Head came round to say what the teachers of older children had decided to do, I told him that I didn't want children being scared to go on holiday.

We gather together and hold a whole school minute's silence for Remembrance Day, but that's completely different and not scary for the little ones.

I'd just reassure your dd that most people are very good and there aren't many bad people about. Tell her that the police are very good at catching bad people and that they caught this bad man and he won't be able to hurt anyone else. Tell her that it happened in a country far away and that nobody has every been on shot on the beach in the UK (I'm assuming from the OP that you're going to the local seaside). Tell her that we have very strict gun laws in this country and that it's harder for bad people to get hold of guns here than it is in some other countries.

Sirzy Sat 04-Jul-15 07:40:30

My nephew was about that age when 9/11 happened. I remember him asking about it and being happy with "there are some bad people in the world who do bad things but most people are very kind so you are safe"

I don't think trying to hide things from children helps in the long run, much better for them to grow up knowing the world isn't perfect than to have to understand that suddenly when something happens IMO.

HagOtheNorth Sat 04-Jul-15 07:41:20

The problem with your idea is that she isn't being raised in isolation.
Children will talk in the playground and in the classroom.
So often the most effective way to deal with incidents like major disasters and terrorist incidents in the outside world is to have a whole school input and then the children can be reassured, they are allowed to ask about what's happening and share their worries, bring the topic up and know that they can have their fears allayed. If a parent won't talk about it, sometimes that works or sometimes the child gets worried about all sorts of small things because they are confused and have no one to ask.
It's always tricky, an needs to be handled on a child by child, incident by incident basis. But over the years, from the Herald of Free Enterprise to Chernobyl to 9/11 and 7/7 snd the Boxing Day tsunami, children are more afraid if they don't have an adult reassuring them.
Silence is scary.

CarolPeletier Sat 04-Jul-15 07:41:36

I don't want her to not learn about it just because I want to go to the beach!!!! It was just we had plans to and her refusal shows how much this has worried her.
I don't want her to learn about this because at six it is just scary and she cannot make sense of it. What benefit is there in her knowing about war/ terrorists at this age?

exLtEveDallasNoBollocks Sat 04-Jul-15 07:42:32

I'm sorry your child was upset OP, I really am, but with a little reassurance you could turn it around. Some children are more sensitive than others, and she may be picking up on your own distress too.

Think of it this way - your child hasn't seen the images, she's just heard a few words that have scared her, there were children on that beach that saw it. That have lost parents and grandparents. Be thankful for that rather than angry with the school.

HagOtheNorth Sat 04-Jul-15 07:44:12

There is no benefit, and that's not what the school did. They responded to an event that many of the children would already have heard about to help them contextualise it and process what happened.
They didn't just randomly have an ISIS assembly.

PotteringAlong Sat 04-Jul-15 07:44:47

So when will you tell her? 10? 15? I think age appropriate explanation is far more effective than shielding her completely - as others have said she doesn't live in isolation and she will talk to other children about things.

CarolPeletier Sat 04-Jul-15 07:44:50

I see what you are saying about silence, and of course if she sees or hears something I discuss it! Oh why can't we wrap them in cotton wool and keep them safe and away from all the evil.

LittleBearPad Sat 04-Jul-15 07:46:43

Because you can't shield her from the outside world. Far better that you explain the news in an age appropriate way.

When will you turn the news on at home - ten, sixteen?

HagOtheNorth Sat 04-Jul-15 07:47:42

I know what you mean.
But they can't be, and it's not healthy for you or them to try. Mine are young adults now, and that's a whole world of worry.

TattieHowkerz Sat 04-Jul-15 07:47:58

I don't think YABU. It sounds like they were far too specific. They didn't need to mention it happened on a beach, for a start.

I remember how frightening these sorts of things can be as a child. I agree we can't, and shouldn't, shield children from these sorts of events completely. But the school could have been much more sensitive in how they approached it.

llammallamamissesmama Sat 04-Jul-15 07:49:43

Maybe there were children talking about in at play times or whatever and the school thought it better to address it sensitively. I'm sure they considered the content and tone very carefully before going ahead.

I agree that 5/6 is do very young to hear about this but unfortunately our world is rife with horrible global atrocities.

I'm on the fence as to whether it was appropriate. I do understand why you're so upset. I feel for your poor DD, it's very scary.

However, I take issue with your wording of the school teaching her about terrorism/terrorists. Commemorating those who died and explaining it was a one off act committed by a single person isn't teaching about terrorism. I think it was an attempt by the school to reassure the pupils that it won't happen at every beach in every country. I know it had to opposite effect on your DD.

Eva50 Sat 04-Jul-15 07:51:06

Ds3 is almost 9 and I would have been upset if the school had done this. I don't go out of my way to switch off the news when he is in the room unless there has been a "some people may find these images distressing" warning but I prefer to give information on a "need to know" basis ie. stranger danger. I feel anxious about the risk of terrorism. I don't think he shoul have to.

Whipnaenae Sat 04-Jul-15 07:53:42

I think she would be more frightened by just hearing snippets and not fully understanding. I think it is better coming from the school or home, not the playground. My children were very curious, intelligent and astute at that age, it didn't take away their innocence.

llammallamamissesmama Sat 04-Jul-15 07:56:03

But tattie, what are they meant to say? It happened in Tunisia? That won't make sense to a lot of children. It did happen on a beach. Were they not meant to say 9/11 happened in a city?

I'm not trying to be goady, honestly, it's a genuine discussion point. How much information should they give? A lot of children will have seen the pictures of the terrorist on the beach so it's only natural that the location was mentioned.

Zinnher Sat 04-Jul-15 07:59:42

YANU but apparently the majority view point is that children should be told e everything as long as its factual.
I feel v should let kids enjoy their childhood without the worry that some nutter would kill them on their holiday

HagOtheNorth Sat 04-Jul-15 08:03:20

'Were they not meant to say 9/11 happened in a city?

My class of 7 year olds rationalised that by coming up with the fact that it was a long way away and that the terrorists had hit very, very high skyscrapers. And there weren't any skyscrapers that they knew of near them, so they were safe.
Living in Sussex, The Herald of Free Enterprise and 7/7 were much harder to deal with, because many of the class had crossed the channel on a ferry and many had parents who were working in London.

ltk Sat 04-Jul-15 08:04:08

YANBU. 6 is too young, and there is no need for them to hear it at that age. However, lots of young children do not have parents who protect them from these things. So gossip and misinformation starts circulating. The school may have been responding to things being said by other children. If you want to know, do ask the school what prompted the assembly. It is certainly a fair question.

HagOtheNorth Sat 04-Jul-15 08:06:37

'apparently the majority view point is that children should be told e everything as long as its factual.'

Told everything? That's not what people are saying.
I once broke up a fight in Y1 that started when one boy told another that everyone dies, and the other child had been told that his mummy would be with him always and disagreed.
The logical child pushed the point and the second child suddenly launched himself into battle because he knew that death was true and couldn't handle it.

Dearagatha Sat 04-Jul-15 08:06:48

No yanbu at all it's unnecessary and unsuitable to involve children that age in a minute of silence and tell them about the attacks in such detail. What can be gained by it? They have not yet developed the ability to reflect all that much and (mostly) take the world at face value. I wouldn't be surprised if your dd is not the only one who does not want to go to the beach now.

Key stages 2 sounds more sensible. But not yr / y1.

Tell you did that yes, there are people who want to hurt others (calling them 'silly' as the school has don is, well, silly) but that most people are not like that and that most places are safe to be. Go to the beach and have a great day out.

On a different note, who I was living abroad aged six and there had been a terrorist incident nearby, terrorists were on the run. I , at the tender age of six, already walked by myself to the bus stop to catch the bus to school and remember being petrified to run into one of those "tourists" as a I apparently used to call them grin confused.

Dearagatha Sat 04-Jul-15 08:08:18

*tell your dd that yes...

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