The one where you have to navigate bad news stories.
These last few months have been hard to understand. Being on the planet for over 40 years means that I’ve lived through quite a lot of things that are simply too hard to grasp, of late Borough Market, London Bridge and the Manchester Area come to the forefront of my mind.
What’s different now? I’m the grownup, I’m the one who needs to tell my children what’s happening in the world around them but part of me wants to shield them. How can I educate when I simply don’t understand it, I can’t legitimise the actions of shootings in schools, the Manchester arena bombing, and people being gunned down or stabbed when they are minding their own business.
I fell asleep last night on the evening of 03.06.2017 at only 21:35 after settling down the children and I lay on the bed for ‘just a minute’. I was awoken when H2B got into bed and told me about London.
From that point on my mind couldn’t rest. Only a few weeks before we’d enjoyed mooching around Borough Market and Emily sampled her first oyster. NOTHING is going to taint those memories. I simply won’t let them.
Luke woke at 02:00 and I was happy that he did. I wanted to hold him and love him and as he sat on my knee he drank some milk and I had a cup of tea and I watched on repeat what was unfolding on the news.
When Emily woke she wanted to know why I was upset, see us parents think we hide our emotions but when a seven-year-old has been watching our faces, reactions, and emotions for the whole of their lives it’s hard to hide it, especially when I’m not the owner of a, ‘poker face’.
I didn’t go into too much depth but what I did say evoked this reply, “everyone needs to sit on the naughty step and get their bad thoughts out then say sorry and then hug the world”, ironically Emily NEVER sat on a naughty step but learned the phase from Jo Frost aka, ‘The Super Nanny’. Emily’s simplistic view resonated.
For the most part, I do answer any question with an appropriate and full answer. My eldest walks away when she’s bored or has all the knowledge she wants or needs now.
Top tips in navigation:
- Be honest, your children trust you implicitly.
- Give broad details rather than being granular.
- Be age-appropriate.
- Be mindful of news programs playing in the background – your child sees and hears everything.
- If a positive slant or lesson can be learned discuss it.
- Don’t be afraid to show emotion and don’t be surprised when your child reaches out to give you a hug to check in on you – in fact, be proud as this shows that you are raising an empathetic child and kudos to you.
After reading this can you do me and you a favour? Just be nice and look after each other and have faith in humanity as without that THEY have won.