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Raising Children Topics..

You are here : home > Raising Children > Childhood Concerns > How to talk to children about terrorism

How to talk to children about terrorism

How did your child react to Mumbai terror attack? Here is a parenting guide that will help you to talk to your child about terrorism.

A news report talking about a terrorist attack can panic children. Terrorists attacked Mumbai city on 26th November, 2008 and next moment dozens of news channels were giving out information. Video captures, sound bytes, interviews of the eye-witnesses and live broadcast were enough to indicate the seriousness of the incident. Today a Television set is enough to know what is happening in the other corner of the world. This parenting guide will help to communicate with your child and talk to him about serious issues that are affecting the peace of our country.

Children and violence on television

According to the report of Congressional Public Health Summit, 2000, young children who see media violence have a greater chance of exhibiting violent and aggressive behavior later in life, than children who have not seen violent media. It is good that children are being aware about current state of affairs, but on the other side excessive exposure to news bulletins can affect their psychology.

Support from parents and teachers

Metropolitans in India have the history of terrorist attacks. Godhra burning on February 27, 2002, terrorist strike in Ayodhya on July 5, 2005, Series of 7 train bombings during the evening rush hour in Mumbai on July 11, 2006, and now well planned attack on Mumbai on November 26, 2008 are some of the major terrorist attacks in India. Violence affects a child's thinking. Here powerful parenting comes into play.

A terror strike can frighten your child. At home, parents should make child feel comfortable. At school, teachers should be supportive and should talk about issues like terrorism, violence, and law, quite carefully. These issues are sensitive, parents and teachers should be cautious while commenting on them.

Talking on terrorism with a child

Toddlers will be baffled after watching the news of terror attack on television. For instance, they will not be able to differentiate between live broadcast and repeat telecast. Parents should be able to analyse the emotional and mental condition of child. In such situation, as a parent, you must understand the need of the time. Explain your child about the terror attack in simple words. Do not make use of harsh words such as 'dead body', 'blood' or 'killings'. Hold your child and give him a warm hug.

Children with older age group will be acquainted with the word 'terrorism'. They may bombard their elders with questions. Parent should be calm and tolerant while answering their questions. Do not ever say to your child things like, 'you do not know anything', 'you will understand nothing', 'do not ask silly questions'. It is grateful that your child is asking questions rather than making judgments on his own. Keep in mind the following tips while talking to your child about terrorism.

  • Encourage children to voice their opinions about terrorism. Adolescents should be encouraged to talk about their feelings on terror strikes and violent attacks.

  • If you child asks a question, boost his confidence by using phrases like 'good question' or 'interesting question'.

  • A free flowing conversation is must to understand the psyche of your child. Let him complete what he has to say before you speak.

  • Tell them how you are feeling about the situation. You must express your feelings in words. For example, 'I am feeling depressing to see how terrorists attacked innocent people'.

  • You may ask your child to note down his opinions on terrorism and terrorists. You will get clear idea what your child understands by terrorism.
Terrorism and violence tend to affect our children in some or the other way. Children should learn to understand the seriousness of violent acts that happen in our country. Child psychology is hard to understand. As a parent, you need to be aware about your child's emotional state. Parenting needs patient. Tomorrow your child will grow and will become a responsible citizen. Help your child understand what is happening in the world. You can do it.

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Jammy Jiggers.5 years ago
I feel saddened to see young kids feeling the brunt of terrorist attacks. we should make sure that they get the right information. they need to be aware of their surroundings but in a sympathetic way
Mophd. Azeem.5 years ago
My country is perpetually dominated with terrorist attacks. the kids here just know about violence, death and their overall development is hampered. they see loss of lives near them everywhere. They are very frightened and unsure of what will happen next.
Priesten Kewt.5 years ago
Children need to talk about their feelings and to have information that they can understand.It is important for adults to understand how children communicate what they feel.Parents should watch out for behavioral changes.
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