Talking to my daughter about the Manchester terrorist attack

I think we are all reeling from last night’s terrorist attack. It feels even more heartbreaking that young people were the target. My heart goes out to the families of those that have been killed. The mums and dads that dropped their excited children off all excited for a big concert who are now facing tragedy. I can’t imagine how scared the kids must have been caught up in total chaos.

How do you talk to your children about terrorism?
I felt it was really important to explain what had happened to Sofia. I didn’t want her to hear the details on the news or from someone else. It was a difficult conversation. Sadly it was not the first time I have had to talk about terrorism with Sofia. How do you make sense of events for an 8 year old when you can’t really understand them yourself. I tried to stick to simple facts and keep it very general. I didn’t tell her that it happened at a concert or that and that children had died.

This is pretty much our conversation.

Me
“Something bad happened in a city in England called Manchester. A bad person did a horrible thing and killed some people. We are feeling really sad about what happened.”

Sofia asked
“How did the bad person kill the people?”

Me
“He set off a bomb and there was an explosion. The Emergency Service and lots of other people helped anyone who was hurt.”

Sofia
“Like in my project (we’d just been doing her homework about the Emergency Services).”

Me
“Remember that this was one bad person who did a horrible thing and there are more good people in the world, like the people who rushed to help. I wanted to tell you so that you didn’t hear anything on the TV and be worried. If you are worried about anything or have any questions you know that you can speak to me.”

I’m holding my kids extra close this evening. and looking for all of the good people in the world.

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