Reassuring Children

9th June 2017

Reassuring children – recently children may have heard upsetting things on the radio or on the TV. As children grow older, they will understand more and may want to discuss recent events with you. In a previous newsletter, I suggested that you use the BBC Newsround website or you could refer to the children’s newspaper First News – both are excellent.

 

The most important thing to emphasise to children is that they should feel safe – we do not want our children feeling anxious and worried. In terms of safety, children are much more likely to be injured by a car than by a terrorist attack.

 

The other important message to give children (if they are a little older perhaps) is that we are really lucky to be living in a democracy, in which we can live peacefully with people of all different faiths and different backgrounds. The recent attacks have nothing to do with the religion of Islam, and Muslims across Britain have condemned the attacks. This was particulary evident in Manchester, where people of all faiths came together to honour the dead. In our democracy we cannot support extremist behaviour or any kind - we should remember that the MP Jo Cox was killed by a far right white British extremist. The message that we want to give our children is that there is no place for hate in our society. Thankfully, most people in our society want to live peacefully with one another, whatever their faith or background.

 

I am currently working on a leaflet about ‘British Values’ to share with our whole school community to help everyone develop a clearer picture of what these values are, so that we can help our children to appreciate the democracy in which we live.

 

Perhaps you could talk to your children about yesterday’s election and how in many countries around the world, people are not able to choose their leader. Whether or not we agree with the outcome of the election (I’m writing this before the election has taken place!) we are so lucky to live in a society that gives everyone a voice. We should emphasise to children that we need to use our voice to promote happiness and wellbeing for others and never to promote hate or violence.

 

I hope this helps you discuss these issues with your children, if you feel they are old enough to understand these issues. Please feel free to ask if you would like more advice or guidance in discussing these difficult issues.

 

Below is a piece of writing by Ife celebrating people’s differences, which she wrote independently for homework. Well done Ife.

 

Catherine Rees