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Trying To Explain News and Complicated Current Affairs To The DCs

(14 Posts)
TwoIfBySea Fri 08-Aug-08 14:23:24

Okay, not exactly in the news but about what has been "in the news" recently.

How do you, or do you, explain what is happening in the world to your dcs (of any age)?

I ask for a very serious reason. While getting ready this morning dts (6 1/2) were playing in their room. Next thing I hear is dts1 saying "Oh no here come the Muslims, we're going to get bombed, get them."

Now I have raised my dts, as best I can, along humanist lines, to treat others as you would expect to be treated and to take people as they come with as little prejudice as possible. I was totally shocked at what he said so I asked why he thought Muslims were going to bomb us. Turns out that while watching the news about the Beijing games he had heard that "Muslims were going to bomb them. They were on tv shouting, mummy. They are always shouting and angry."

I've tried damage limitation, not all Muslims think that etc. etc. but increasingly there is separatist attitudes, Muslims wanting to school their children in their own schools. If they don't mix then I am really worried, despite dts aren't being brought up without racist attitudes, what is going to happen when they don't have experience of having Muslim friends at school. All they are going to get is this negative image.

So although not technically a news story it has to do with a news story and I need opinions and ideas on this. TIA.

rebelmum1 Fri 08-Aug-08 14:27:29

Government propaganda is working.

rebelmum1 Fri 08-Aug-08 14:28:20

I would explain propaganda, I mean look at China's track record on terror.

rebelmum1 Fri 08-Aug-08 14:29:26

China basically just wants to tighten security.

TwoIfBySea Fri 08-Aug-08 14:53:11

It wasn't so much about the Olympics, more that they are obviously taking note of the terrorist videos shown on tv.

I don't want to stop them seeing the news but at the same time it is getting harder and harder to explain this.

rebelmum1 Fri 08-Aug-08 14:56:11

Again he has more chance of being run over by a bus.

rebelmum1 Fri 08-Aug-08 14:57:16

I get him to listen to the news on radio 4 instead.

TwoIfBySea Fri 08-Aug-08 19:11:07

Just my luck though to have a child who gets an answer and then comes up with a dozen more questions!

TwoIfBySea Fri 08-Aug-08 23:58:42

Anyone else with any ideas?

LadyMuck Sat 09-Aug-08 00:19:11

OK, rather a large question (the thread title that is).

In terms of your OP, I tend to explain a specific situation to the level of details that my children show interest in on that particular day. I'm surprised at the conclusion that your children are drawing from what they see tbh - they can't have seen that many muslims threatening to bomb the Olympics surely? Sounds more like they're making up some sort of a story from the playground. Even if they do see pictures of angry people then I would try to highlight individual stories, or situations, rather than let them have such a skewed general view. So far my 5 and 7 yos have asked about the protests relating to Tibet, so we could talk about that, explainign where Tibet is, about how China has taken control and about how the people there feel, and why other people protest. This led us to talking about how to we decided which issues to campaign on. They then went a built an olympic stadium in the back garden (4 years ahead of deadline for 2012!)

In terms of your own views, I have to say that I don't find that the majority of Muslims are wanting to school children in their own schools throughout the country, (or even throughout London). If anything they are discriminated against by not being able to apply to the 25% of schools which are CofE/RC. If you live in an area with a muslim population then I'm sure that you will find somewhere to for your children to meet muslim children (and those from other backgrounds) even if there happen to be none at your school (assuming that your dts attend a community school rather than a CofE/RC school). Sport may be one way in which you could find a diverse selection of children.

TwoIfBySea Sat 09-Aug-08 00:36:23

I did realise later that it was a clunky title even by my standards (not so high!)

Thanks LadyMuck.

I was a little taken aback by dts1's attitude, even though it was said in play. He has never talked about it before although we have discussed news items plenty of times this is the first time he has ever stood by his original view, and it isn't a good one.

The Muslim community in Scotland has been campaigning (now successfully) for their own faith schools. I've always been of the opinion we need less rather than more faith schools tbh.

Good luck with the Olympic Stadium by the way, I have a feeling it may need to be used if the real one goes over schedule! Ask competing countries to send in their playmobil people only grin

LadyMuck Sat 09-Aug-08 08:06:57

Well actually I don't believe that there is a Muslim school yet in Scotland though I understand that the SNP would support one (note one!) in Glasgow, where due to the number of Catholic schools there are already some state schools which are predominantly Muslim in terms of intake. The obvious step for cohesion would be to stop all faith schools in the state sector, but of course the church school parents would not accept this.

I think that your sons attitudes would definitely be helped if you could seek out some friends of different backgrounds for him. I think that it would be harder for them to make broad generalisations when they know individuals who happen to be members of that religion. And as you meet their parents you may also become aware that actually most of them do not have separatist views at all.

foofi Sat 09-Aug-08 08:43:37

I know this is slightly off the point and doesn't address ideas they have already got from somewhere, but I would recommend letting your dcs watch Newsround - or looking at it online - as this gives them the news in a way that is suitable for their agegroup.

TwoIfBySea Sat 09-Aug-08 13:31:34

foofi, good point, it shows that supposedly unbias news reporting is actually anything but when kids pick up these ideas.

They start beavers in the autumn so fingers crossed this helps a little as there is only so much I can do myself.

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