In recent days I have been asked by a number of concerned parents how they can support their children understand that despite the news and media hype they are actually safe from a war or terrorist attack.
Firstly I encourage all parents to be responsive to questions about what's going on in the world at the moment. Avoidance of hot topics never works.
Kids by nature are inquisitive and persistent!
Target your answers to your children's ages and sensibilities.
Remind them that while there are conflicts and random acts of terrorism, we must remain positive and focused on a future that is positive.
It's important for them to remember that there are many good people in the world of various religions and nationalities doing their bit to make the world a better place.
Sometimes it can be helpful to talk through the fears and assure them that while they are scared, it's also OK to entertain positive thoughts too.
Here's a few ideas:
- Encourage your kids to spend more time engaging with nature, their family and friends in real time, and spending less time online or watching TV. This could be an opportunity for you too to reduce your consumption of social media and the media.
- Consider meditation and mindfulness activities for children
- Ask them if they would like to be proactive and support a charity that is making a difference in the world like Oxfam, Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders. Let them be creative!
If they continue to have bad dreams, not eating as normal, or showing signs of distress consider professional support.