Listen: How to answer your child’s questions on terrorism

If your child asks what terrorist attacks or mass shootings are all about, do you need to explain it to them? How do you do it?

Mass shootings and terrorist attacks that are frequently reported now can be disturbing and even confusing for a child who might chance upon headlines and pictures on a news channel. If they ask you what all this meant, how would you explain as a parent?

Parent and professor of psychology Dr Tanu Shree Singh said, “Things have changed because of the accessibility to news…Now, the generation is where you can shut down one channel, there will be 10 more. So, there is no escaping. And there should not be an escape. We need to talk to them about it because these are the people who will be carrying on after we are gone.”

Kids need to understand what terrorism is, expressed Dr Singh. “For that they also need to experience that fear, that pain. We need to go back to our parenting philosophy of our tendency to protect our children. We tend to protect them from anything that instills fear and anything that invokes pain,” she added.

So, how do you talk to kids about terrorism? “How you define terrorism would depend on the child’s age. Let the child ask you something,” advised Dr Singh.

“The idea is to accept the fear and overcome it,” emphasised Dr Singh.

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