How to Explain Terrorism to Your Child

The devastating attack at Arianna Grande’s concert in Manchester’s last week event has shocked the world and left us broken.  Comprehending what happened, targeting innocent people including young children, is difficult for adults to understand, but even more traumatic for children. Here are some ways to help your child deal with what happened:

  • Reassure your child that they are safe by offering some perspective, that this type of danger is incredibly rare and unlikely to happen to anyone they know and there is much done to keep us safe and protect us.
  • Age-appropriate conversations are important. Explain what death means, it is not usually until the age of 5 or 6 that children really know that death is permanent.
  • Explain why it happened – by talking about bad behaviour, not bad people. This will help children distinguish between bad acts and bad people, which can be more easily understood.
  • Children are surrounded by social media and conversations on the internet will lead to different interpretations. Remind your child that this is people’s opinions and have a conversation with your child about what they think has happened.
  • Being open and providing comfort to your child will build trust. It is important that your child does not worry quietly inside and cover up their feelings. Talking can help your child deal with what has happened and make them feel safe by embracing them a little longer. Assure them that you will always be there for them.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Fred Rogers

Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those that have lost their loved ones.


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