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"A terror attack may be imminent" - what do we say to DGC?

(26 Posts)
nandea Wed 24-May-17 09:58:35

Having seen that the terror threat level has now been raised to the highest level and they're talking about the military being on the streets and at big events, how are we supposed to feel about it? TM said not to be scared, that the move was a proportionate and sensible response and I'm sure she is right, but what do I say to my DGC? How can we help our young ones through this and prevent them from growing up terrified of the world they live in? I don't want to pass on my feelings of helplessness.

whitewave Wed 24-May-17 10:07:55

Then don't. There is no need to mention it - their lives should be as normal as possible. It is up to the grownups to sort it out.

If they ask and are old enough, then tell them the basic facts without hyperbole. But as they are far more likely to be killed on the roads - perspective is needed.

If they are tiny nothing should be said.

phoenix Wed 24-May-17 10:31:54

There was something on Radio 4 about this on the Today programme. I think they mentioned that there is information on the Newsround website, but might have got that wrong.

yggdrasil Wed 24-May-17 11:05:55

Something I heard yesterday. Tell them there were only one or two bad people who did it, but look at all the hundreds of people who were there immediately to help.

Norah Wed 24-May-17 11:09:53

I don't plan on telling DGC anything at all about the terror attack or threat level.

ninathenana Wed 24-May-17 11:15:14

I certainly wouldn't mention it unless they asked. If so I would respond as ygddrasil says.

Christinefrance Wed 24-May-17 11:15:53

I agree with previous posters to an extent. I do think though we have to be aware and make older children aware that bad things do happen and there are sensible steps they can take in any crowded situation. The world is changing and our children need to be prepared but not scared.

Katek Wed 24-May-17 11:22:19

Don't say anything, they don't need to know. What purpose would it serve? Should they ask about armed police/military - and dependent on their age - just say that they're taking care of us by looking for grown ups doing very bad things. My 10 year old dgd and I had a brief conversation on this very subject last night and she's quite au fait of what happened. Also very pragmatic (and slightly vengeful) as her parting comment was 'at least he's dead as well.' Black and white thinking.

jacksmum Wed 24-May-17 11:41:36

Just tell her that the soldiers are helping the policemen/women to keep us all safe ,as the police are very busy .
My children grew up with troops on the streets at times and if we as adults do not scare and panic the children most will just carry on with their everyday life, sadly its adults showing children just how worried we are that makes them more scared of the unknown, as others have said BBC Newsround has been doing some programmes to help explain it to children

Nannarose Wed 24-May-17 12:16:17

Look on the BBC Newsround site. I have used this site to help me find words ever since my own were tiny.

I have used the same principle as my own parents did about any uncomfortable subject: tell the truth at about the level you expect the child to understand. Don't worry about getting it slightly wrong - as long as you show that you are open to questions they will come back and ask at another time - and expect that to be when least expected!

Also let them know that good people are doing the best they can - both to keep us safe and to make connections in the world. My parents encouraged 'peace making' and so did I - even if we seem to have 'failed' at the moment it can make you feel more positive.

Nannarose Wed 24-May-17 12:17:32

Edit: Obviously the actual Newsround site is relatively new, but I meant that we always watched Newsround to get a child's eye view of the news (and useful explanations)

gillybob Wed 24-May-17 12:28:33

I sympathise nandea and others. My 11 year old DGD was off school poorly (at mine), all day yesterday. She asked a lot of questions about the terror attack as we heard about it together on the early morning news. One of her friends was at the concert with her mum and she was quite upset and worried about it. It is very difficult to know what to say without frightening children. She and her sister go to quite a few concerts at the Arena near Newcastle and she announced that she didn't think she would go to anymore. The terrorists/monsters whatever you want to call them have won!

Penstemmon Wed 24-May-17 12:48:27

There are several good websites with clear advice for how to approach this with children e.g.

Lillie Wed 24-May-17 12:57:34

Most schools will be dealing with the topic in a sensitive and an informative manner. At home parents and GPs just need to follow this up with reassurance.

paddyann Wed 24-May-17 14:31:35

I'm not sure another attack IS imminent ,they dont usually attack the same country in quick succession ..anyway I wont be doing anything different nor will I say anything to my GC about it unless they ask.As someone said earlier,they are more likely to be run over by a car than caught in a terrorist attack so why worry without due cause.Scotlands police chief ISN'T putting armed troops or armed police on our streets only troops at Faslane and other nuclear installations ,HE knows the situation better than joe public so we'll take his word its not needed

James2451 Wed 24-May-17 15:39:46

I hope and pray that this is not duplicity with shades of the Falklands political shrewdness.

However, what I do know :
This is NOT the time for a Hard BREXIT and perpetual insulting of the EU, we need our friend and allies in Europe more than ever.

Fear and prejudices are NOT the British way.

We need to unite more than ever behind the people of Manchester

I have just been reading up more about the plans in Manchester to promote updates on the Battle of Peterloo. Another incredible day of unnecessary slaughter of local innocent people in the life of the people of Manchester. WE should remember the reasons and sacrifices behind why so many gave their lives to obtain the vote. Recommend you all look up " Battle of Peterloo 1819". It should be part of school curriculum and what we should never forget.

merlotgran Wed 24-May-17 16:08:56

paddyann The people of Scotland should be thankful that ISIS don't seem to be targeting them. Your post does come across as a little smug.

Your police chief will no doubt be hoping he's read the situation and intelligence reports correctly and isn't caught with his pants down.


grannypiper Wed 24-May-17 16:43:36

I am not sure not saying anything to the children is helpful, children take these things in their stride.
I lived in Northern Ireland for 3 years in the early 90s,i had to explain to my children why we had armed guards on the camp gate,why the police often stopped and checked the car and pointed guns at us, why we couldnt go to certain towns on certain days and why they couldnt visit me and their new baby Brother in hospital.
They understood why, if the siren went off that we had to hide in the cupboard under the stairs, they knew that the loud bang they heard was a bomb going off,they knew Daddy had to check under the car before we were allowed near it and they coped with it all as it was just normal to them.
Give the children some credit. Dont lie to them or hide things from them, they are not stupid.

Christinefrance Wed 24-May-17 17:55:41

Exactly grannypiper,well said.

Coolgran65 Wed 24-May-17 18:39:45

My children grew up with the troops and the roadblocks, the bombings and the mayhem. It was accepted as part of life and as they got older, while trying to be safe and sensible they managed also to have a pretty normal social life.
All have turned out to be well balanced adults.
They knew that not everyone is bad.

Luckygirl Wed 24-May-17 18:46:10

If they ask I guess we respond in an age-appropriate way - the links from Penstemmon are very helpful. My 5 year old GS has become quite obsessed with death and asks about it all the time - I am not sure what sparked this off, but we are all trying to help in the best way we each can.

merlotgran Wed 24-May-17 19:14:51

I agree with grannypiper and Coolgran. My experiences were from a child's point of view - aged five then again aged eight to twelve.

You trusted the adults around you to make the right decisions regarding your safety. Cinemas and shops might suddenly be made out of bounds or maybe a social event cancelled with very little explanation. You just accepted life as it was and got on with it. When a friend's mother was killed as a result of a grenade attack on a café it was a teacher who broke the news to the class and comforted us. Our parents didn't even know until we told them.

We were used to having an armed soldier on the school bus....He joined in our singalongs and if stones were thrown we ducked down behind the protective grills at the windows.

Most of all, there was no fuss. Any questions were usually answered calmly but we were lucky in that there was no media interference so all our information came from our parents and teachers.

Difficult to find the right balance these days I suppose but I've always believed in 'less is more.'

Cherrytree59 Wed 24-May-17 19:17:54

Merlotgran Lockerbie, Glasgow airport?

Greyduster Wed 24-May-17 19:43:19

My 10 year old GS asked DH on the way home from school whether he had heard about the terror attacks. He had heard it on the radio with DD that morning and she had reassured him that he was not to worry about it, and DH said the same; that these things had to be seen in proportion and that we must all continue to live our lives and mustn't be expecting bad things to happen or it would make us unhappy. He seemed to be okay with that.

merlotgran Wed 24-May-17 19:47:57

I hadn't forgotten Lockerbie and Glasgow Airport, Cherrytree. I was referring to more recent terrorist activities where ISIS have claimed responsibility.

Let's hope armed protection on the streets is not needed.