It goes without saying that everyone’s thoughts here at The Nanny Company are with all those affected by the terrible events last night.
Waking up to the shocking events in Manchester this morning was shocking and heart-breaking. The world our children and those we look after as nannies are growing up in is scary and terrifying. It defies understanding that someone could target our children and teenagers at an event that they would have been looking forward to, might have had brought for them as presents and might have been the first concert that they had been to. As a mum to two children aged 9 and 13 it makes me want to wrap them in cotton wool and never let them out of my sight. The thought of letting them go off to a concert or an event with large crowds on their own is just too scary to think about.
So, what do we do today? As hard as it is talking to my children about this I don’t want them hearing about it on social media or from their friends and not knowing what is happening.
Our children will identify with this attack more than others because they could have been there, it’s their peer group and it will hit them harder. How do we talk to them without scaring them too much?
Here are some tips that might be helpful
# Be honest with your answers when children ask you questions. You need to be the one they can trust to tell them the truth.
# Explain to them that terrorism has always been around but is very rare and unusual to be caught up in an event like last night. People will carry on going to concerts, going shopping and going on holidays and they will continue to be safe
# Try not to be dramatic. Explain how rare these events are and how very unlikely we are to be caught up in them.
# Let them talk to you and listen. Sometimes it’s not about what we say but them just knowing that we will listen to them without looking at our phones or putting the washing in at the same time.
# If they don’t want to talk that’s also fine. Just let them know you are there if they need you or if they just need a hug.
# Give them time and don’t always expect an answer. Sometimes they won’t know how they are feeling and might need some space.
# Explain that yes there are some horrid people in the world. But there are more kind ones. The taxi drivers who gave lifts for free last night, the people who offered their homes and phones to strangers and the people that ran to the danger to help rather than away from it.
# Let them know that however they are feeling is normal and that you will help them however you can.
# Try to make sure information they read is correct and not scare mongering. There is so much wrong information online. Try to make sure they read articles on websites such as BBC Newsround.
# Try to do something nice with them, take them out for a treat and try to take their mind off it.
We can’t change what is happening in the world, but hopefully we can help our children to understand things and to make them feel a little safer. I don’t know about you but I will be hugging my children a little tighter tonight at bedtime.