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How to Talk to Your Child About Terrorism

Familyshare recently reposted this article after the terrorist attacks in Belgium. Have you considered how you would talk to your children about terrorism?

Acts of global terror have become frequent headliners in the news. The recent terrorism attacks in France were felt around the world; not just in Paris. How do these events affect children, and what can parents do to address their fears?

A video produced by "Le Petit Journal" shows an interview between a father and his worried son at the site of the Bataclan attacks. The father and interviewer carefully guide the child from feeling confused to feeling calm.

The father's simple statement, "They might have guns but we have flowers," is powerful imagery of something familiar and tangible this boy can hold onto amidst so many unknowns. Here are six tips for helping your child appease his fears.

1. Be age-appropriate

Younger children need less information than older ones. Children in elementary school are usually more traumatized by frightening images. Therefore, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises that parents limit their child's media viewing. Young children should also not be included in "adult" conversation about alarming events. Be discretionary where you talk to others (phone or in person) so children don't overhear more than they can handle.

Children in secondary school usually require more information. Be factual, not fear-based. Every child needs a parent who is a stable anchor in times of crisis. It's OK to admit you are sad or mourn the loss of others, but kids need to know we can handle whatever they are feeling and that we are emotionally available.

Lead image from Familyshare.
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