So after the horrendous news we had recently with the Manchester and London attacks I have seen much controversy on social media about whether or not you think children should be told this news.
So how do you feel?
After I found out about London and Manchester I had no desire to hide this type of news from Milo. As parents I know our natural instinct is to protect our children and some of you may think that by sheltering our children from this type of news is protecting them. However, I am a parent who does not hide the events of the world from Milo as I would rather him hear the right information from me opposed to second hand information from his friends.
I know that views such as ‘keeping our children innocent’ is a common factor into not telling your children about the news but with social media, friends and family members speaking about horrendous tragedies how is this possible? In regards to the two recent attacks within the UK, school trips have been cancelled, there are travel disruptions and more police on the street and if Milo did not know about the recent events in Manchester and London he may be very confused.
I educate Milo about the common parental fears: strangers, road safety, internet safety so why would I not educate him about terrorism. It is current and it is amongst our community so I feel it is necessary.
One thing I do not think that has been handled that well is the schools showing the ‘tactful’ news round video to our children without permission. Even though I believe Milo should be told, I know there are parents who do not hold the same views as me. I think as a parent we should be able to decide who gets to tell our children about this type of thing. On the other hand, I am aware that sometimes teachers and schools need to react quickly to certain situations and consent may not of been a viable option. I am playing devils advocate but teachers may of felt that incorrect facts were flying around the classroom and may of felt the need to show a more truthful account.
When I speak to Milo about this type of things I try to make sure I use age appropriate language. I ensure that I do not say that the people who took part in the accounts are bad people however, I say that the people committed bad actions. Milo understands the concept of death and he is very empathic about the people who have died and those who have lost their family. I reassure Milo that he is not directly in danger and that some areas are best avoided in times like this. Having said this, Milo had a casting in central London the day after the events unfolded in Manchester. I spoke to Milo about this and he felt fine about travelling to a busy place.
I know some children that have vocally said they do not want to visit cities and even go to concerts. If this is one of your children, reassurance is needed and if the feelings are prolonged then it may be good for you to attend your local doctors.
Lets hope that our children are safe and are not frightened to live as freely as they should be!
Lots of Love