Helping Our Kids Understand and Deal with Terrorism

By | May 1, 2017

Terrorism is something that is threatening to bring this world to an end, and we are doing everything within our powers to overcome it. There are however some situations that we cannot control such as the 9/11 bombings that occurred years ago. The worst thing about scenarios like these is the effect that they have on the kids. Children are affected either directly or indirectly, and this could lead to complications in the future. In this article, we are going to look at some of the things that we can do to help our kids understand terrorism. This will actually depend on the age of the children, for example, youngsters tend to focus on immediate moments rather than past or future, while older kids tend to think things over in more detail.

Supervise and manage the flow of information

We are all very aware of the violent images that flash on our screens and the emotional impacts that they have on our kids, whenever there has been a tragedy. Such images can have a negative effect on our children, and we need to filter the content that the children watch. If the children watch these images, they can keep replaying in their thoughts and feelings. The sounds also remain in their minds. There is also the thought of misinformation when children meet up with other children and share distorted truths, encouraging them to hear what they heard. It’s important to control the flow of information that our children have access to.

Helping Our Kids Understand and Deal with Terrorism

Prepare for emotional fallout

There are many emotions that are going to come to the surface in the event of a terror attack, and these include anger, fear, frustration, confusion, worry, shock, anxiety, and many more. It is very important for us to help our children understand the links between what they are feeling and what happened. Their thoughts of certain things can quickly be altered, such as air travel and tourist attractions, making the children wonder what it would have been like if they were the ones that were there at the time that the attack happened. We should explain to them that it’s normal to have such questions going through their minds, but instead they should focus on helping those that have been affected.

Encourage them to share their feelings

You should encourage the children to share their feelings with those that they trust. A good way is to invite a few of their friends along with their parents so that you can all discuss the incidents. This will help the children know the importance of sharing their feelings.

Translate the previously inconceivable

Children tend to learn a lot following the incidents, and this can be puzzling to them. They might hear a leader talking of freedom, punishment, curfew and other things. Explain it to them in ways that they can understand as children, depending on their ages. Let them know the causes and effects, the lessons to be learned from it all, and even how different ideologies lead to conflict. This way, the children won’t draw conclusions of their own.

Iran’s Negotiating Triumph Over Obama and America

Below, we are going to look at an example of things that children might not be able to understand. This is an extract from an article written for the Wall Street Journal by Marc Gerecht and Mark Dubowitz. The two are active members of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, an organization that is charged with negotiating and finding solutions whenever they feel that there is a terror threat aimed at the US and other countries.

The U.S. is surrendering control of verification to the United Nations, where their influence is weak. President Obama believes that the nuclear “framework” concluded Friday in Switzerland is a historic achievement. Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, says he believes the same. Those two positions are incompatible.

I’m pretty sure that no child would be able to understand the statement above, and it would be up to you as a parent to explain it to them like an 8-year old.