Our advice can help parents talk to their children worried about recent events
If you’re concerned about how a child is feeling following the tragic events in Manchester on Monday 22nd May and in London on Saturday 3rd June, you can call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 for advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Talking about terrorism: tips for parents
Children are exposed to news in many ways, and what they see can worry them. Our advice can help you have a conversation with your child:
listen carefully to a child’s fears and worries
offer reassurance and comfort
avoid complicated and worrying explanations that could be frightening and confusing
help them find advice and support to understand distressing events and feelings
children can always contact Childline free and confidentially on the phone and online.
It’s also important to address bullying and abuse following the terrorist attacks.
Some children may feel targeted because of their faith or appearance
Look for signs of bullying, and make sure that they know they can talk with you about it. Often children might feel scared or embarrassed, so reassure them it’s not their fault that this is happening, and that they can always talk to you or another adult they trust. Alert your child’s school so that they can be aware of the issue.
Dealing with offensive or unkind comments about a child’s faith or background
If you think this is happening, it’s important to intervene. Calmly explain that comments like this are not acceptable. Your child should also understand that someone’s beliefs do not make them a terrorist. Explain that most people are as scared and hurt by the attacks as your child is. You could ask them how they think the other child felt, or ask them how they felt when someone said something unkind to them. Explain what you will do next, such as telling your child’s school, and what you expect them to do.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the devastating terror attack in Manchester. Our thoughts are with the victims and families of those who have been affected. Our advice for any child or teenager upset and anxious in light of this news is for them to talk to a trusted adult, be it a parent, teacher or Childline.”
Peter Wanless / NSPCC Chief executive
Talking to your children about terrorism
Watch our video to see how three parents answer their children’s questions based on footage from Paris. You can find more advice on The Times.
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