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To not know how to reassure dd about terrorism

(54 Posts)
2StripedSocks Tue 26-Jul-16 21:30:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NickNacks Tue 26-Jul-16 21:40:31

I read a lovely piece a couple of years ago about disasters and it was something like 'look for the helpers'.

Essentially watch the news reports but see if you can see all the people who are helping and 'good'. Hundreds if not thousands if not millions more of them than evil terrorists who do evil things.

I bring this us with my children who are a similar age to yours.

2StripedSocks Tue 26-Jul-16 21:52:40

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foxessocks Tue 26-Jul-16 21:59:12

I really sympathise with you. I don't have much advice, my own dd is far too young to understand at the moment but I worry about how I'll handle this when she's older.

I was a worrier when I was about that age. I worried about all sorts of things I had heard in the news etc or I'd heard at school. My parents were always very positive and optimistic so when I came to them with worries they'd discuss them with me fully but always tried to inject some optimism. I veve an older brother who I really looked up to as well and if he reassured me about something I'd generally feel much better.

It's a hard one because it may be stuff at school scaring her more than the news. And there's more news around these days too.

I definitely think if kids are playing at being terrorists they need to be stopped though. That's not on.

You can only keep reassuring and being optimistic about the future and trying to get her to see the good in the world.

Allofaflumble Tue 26-Jul-16 22:01:46

Many children around the world have had to live with terrorism. I really don't think you can honestly reassure her as none of us know what will happen. Keep her away from the news. I remember being terrified of the news fifty years ago and worried about wars and the end of the world.

Excited101 Tue 26-Jul-16 22:07:10

'Look for the helpers' is a brilliant approach to take for children, and yes, I would limit contact to content to make sure it's kept in appropriate perspective. Rationalise and answer any questions she might have but try to avoid giving it too much airtime and discussion as it could encourage her to turn it into a bigger deal.

Perhaps point out that even on the tiny chance that your at X place and X time when something was to happen you're still massively unlikely to be at all involved and dig up some statistics on 'you're more likely to X than be in a terrorist attack' type things to help her put it into perspective. Have a decent discussion about the media bring dramatic to sell stories.

MummyBex1985 Tue 26-Jul-16 22:09:11

My DD is exactly like yours, but she has anxiety so it's very hard to manage.

My twins (10) have been asking questions and it's a very tough thing to explain. sad

So strange how the world has shaped since we were young. I remember the IRA being the main perceived threat when I was their age...

green18 Tue 26-Jul-16 22:35:28

I understand and I feel same as your DD I'm afraid. I wouldn't go to Paris this summer. I know its giving in and this most recent atrocity was in a small suburb of a town but I wouldn't enjoy it. I remember the IRA threat. It was scary being in London at times. But what I don't understand about ISIS is what do they want? The IRA wanted Northern Ireland back from the British, what do ISIS want?

Crunchymum Tue 26-Jul-16 22:37:06

It's IS not isis?

green18 Tue 26-Jul-16 22:38:20


CattDamon Tue 26-Jul-16 22:47:12

I was working in a school as an unqualified teacher & the day after the Bataclan attack the year 7 children in my lesson were worried we were:
-going to war, which would be like world war 2 with air raid shelters, gas masks, concentration camps
-that their school would be attacked
-that every Muslim was a terrorist & hated us.

We spent the double lesson talking things through & I hope I eased some of their fears, as a lot were misconceptions as above.

I can understand why your DD is worried, it's a terrifying thing even to adults.

Maybe talk about the helpers as above, and also explain what to do if anything did ever happen: run, if can't; hide, if can't;play dead. Talk about emergency exits in the case of fires. Let her carry a torch & phone. Make her feel prepared without scaring her, maybe relating it to other everyday sorts of things.

I'm sorry she has such anxiety about this. I'm a terribly anxious person, and assume everything bad will happen to me/my family. It's a hard thing to live with.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Tue 26-Jul-16 23:23:13

Aww the poor little lamb. Bless her.
My dd is the same. She is absolutely heart broken over poor Father Jacques.
I mean what do you say to reassure them. You can't even promise them its not going to happen can you.
I pray every day that someone finds a solution, but. I can't see you.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Tue 26-Jul-16 23:25:22

But what do we do. Just stay in doors. I mean what type of life is that.

green18 Wed 27-Jul-16 07:06:47

These attacks are just barbaric and unlike anything else. with a bomb plot, MI5 could use intelligence but with these random acts it could happen anywhere to anyone. It's a sad state if affairs but I think it's time for a much tighter control and checks on anyone entering this country and on anyone who has shown signs or interest in extremist thoughts. One of the latest attackers was tagged after wanting to go to Syria. How did that help exactly?

2StripedSocks Wed 27-Jul-16 07:19:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

green18 Wed 27-Jul-16 07:24:11

It's so hard. I felt like this at Easter when we had a holiday in Europe, My dd 12 didn't want to fly(it was soon after the Brussels airport bombs). We went because it was booked and we just had to get on with it. I reassured her that security would be very tight. We checked in so fast and went through to air side asap, no hanging around. But, if I hadn't booked anything, it would put me off doing so. You're not being unkind, you're trying to do the right thing but you can't get any guarantee. You could cancel and go elsewhere but who's to say anywhere is safe?

heron98 Wed 27-Jul-16 07:29:38

I don't know - I can't help but feel getting tough with her might help? Just tell her life goes on and she needs to live it, not hide away in fear. We face danger every time we leave the house and she's far more likely to die from illness or an accident than a terrorist.

It's a fact - perhaps that will help.

Unless she then gets scared about getting ill. In which case my advice is shit.

CuboidalSlipshoddy Wed 27-Jul-16 08:27:34

We don't let her watch the news

Unless you live in a tent on an island with no electricity, what you mean is "you don't let her watch the news with you, who are in a position to explain and contextualise it in a reassuring way, but she obviously watches and hears about the news in other houses, at school, when using the Internet, while walking through shopping centres or other places where there are screens, when overhearing conversations amongst adults and while talking to friends whose parents do not share your slightly odd views".

We long since stopped thinking that you could "protect children's innocence" by not talking about sex, in large part because the choice wasn't innocence or corruption, the choice was bad knowledge from randoms or good knowledge from parents. Why are current events any different?

You aren't helping her by trying to help her like this. What she will be getting will be confusing, frightening messages, and at 11 she will be absolutely aware that there is a load of stuff you are keeping from her, so in reality things must be worse.

If she's 11 and its August, she's presumably she's just finished Year 7. Do you seriously believe that children in secondary school subsist on a diet of Newsround (whose target audience is younger) and First News? Do you think that none of her friends have said to her "did you hear about...?" and told her things that you might be able to contextualise, but other 11 year olds can't or won't?

CuboidalSlipshoddy Wed 27-Jul-16 08:29:00

If she's 11 and its August

If she's 11 and it's July.

CuboidalSlipshoddy Wed 27-Jul-16 08:31:53

When they're little you can shelter them from so much but when they enter tweendom it's increasingly impossible to do so.

And you're seeing the effects of trying, I'm afraid. Newsround is aimed at 6 to 12 year olds. It simply isn't sufficient to act as a bulwark against the complex messages your daughter will get from elsewhere.

2StripedSocks Wed 27-Jul-16 08:34:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

2StripedSocks Wed 27-Jul-16 08:37:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

practy Wed 27-Jul-16 08:37:44

Giving in to anxiety, tends to make it worse. If you cancel the holiday, you risk making her more anxious.

CuboidalSlipshoddy Wed 27-Jul-16 08:40:18

Newsround and First News etc kept her informed without being too graphic,or so we thought.

And yet she's frightened of travelling and wants to cancel your holiday.

She has just finished primary. She doesn't have a phone or tablet.

But she's starting secondary in six weeks' time. Secondary schools will not police any of this: for a start off, their Internet filtering will not block the main BBC news website, nor any of its video, and that will be routinely used for discussions in class. She will go into other people's houses, and they will not turn the news off just for your child.

You're doing the equivalent of "by not telling my child about sex I am keeping her safe", and we all know how that works out.

NavyandWhite Wed 27-Jul-16 08:40:48

Ds is 9 and is a worrier. He doesn't listen to the news ( we don't tend to watch it till he's in bed - no reason just the way it is ) and we don't talk graphically about things in front of him but he does see and hear bits of things.

We are going to France next week and he's been asking if we will be safe. Of course I can only hope we are but I've tried to explain the actual risk of anything happening to him and he seemed happier after I'd explained that to him.

But of course it's there in all our minds. And all we can do is carry on living because the alternative is not a life at all.

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