Sponsored Video: How to Discuss Terrorism with Your Children #everychildhood

Watching Deutschland 83 recently I was surprised by how little of the world stage I was aware of as a then 11/12 year old.  I remember Reagan being elected and the 'us and them' atmosphere engendered by the Iron Curtain, but any sense of threat was more vague than my parents and the adults around us must have felt at the time.  Talking about it recently, my mum said that it felt at the time as if there was a definite possibility that things could kick off.  We kids were largely oblivious to it, yet just a couple of years later I was fully aware of Gorbachev's move to power and the incredible possibilities that glasnost and perestroika opened up.

So it took me until age 13/14 to be aware of politics and the world stage, yet when I was teaching Year 4 (8/9 years old) at the beginning of the current world terrorism crisis, they were very aware of what was going on and asked a lot of questions.  Are today's children more exposed to the news than we were 30 years ago?  Probably, I think we all are.  We have rolling 24 hour news, often with very sensationalist reporting, and the images that are permitted for use now are undoubtedly way beyond what would have been permitted back then.  Plus, despite the evidence against it, a majority of young children have Internet access via mobile phones, tablets and other devices, and many homes have the television on almost all the time.  Young children can hardly help being exposed to the news, whatever their ability to process it.

Following the attacks in Paris last year, UK children's charity the NSPCC received a record number of calls to its ChildLine service from children concerned about terrorism.  Many parents weren't confident addressing these emotive and difficult issues with their children, so The Times worked with the NSPCC to create a Gogglebox-style video designed to help and reassure parents on how to address the subject of terrorism with their children.  The video features footage from Sky News's coverage of the Paris attacks alongside children’s reactions and concerns, and their interactions with parents as they watch it.

You can view the video How to discuss terrorism with your children? here:

Young children are clearly aware of these world issues, and have a need to talk about their feelings, to ask questions and to seek reassurance while coming to terms with difficult issues.  Chris Duncan, Chief Customer Officer at News UK describes the NSPCC video as a strong and important piece of content that he hopes will educate and help parents discuss and allay children’s fears in a time when terrorism is a widely mentioned subject.

You can read more about children's reactions to the terrorist attacks, and how parents can tackle the issue and address children's fears on the NSPCC website.

Post sponsored by News UK

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