Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Helping children deal with terrorism, trauma and terrible things…

The Paris tragedy will bring with it a lot of fears and anxiety in young children. Some will be able to voice them and some will worry about it unable to ask the questions that are worrying them. It is important that as parents and teachers we support them in this period by ensuring that our own anxiety does not pass on to our children. If you find a child withdrawn or has suddenly started exhibiting different behavior, then maybe talking to the child or helping the child draw his/her emotions and thoughts can help.
Children will have a lot of questions and it is important that if children ask questions about the tragedy and its related factors that we reply to these questions with honesty and simplicity. It is better that they voice their questions to a trusted individual like a parent or teacher rather than being ignored. Our replies will also give them an assurance that the adults are thinking about their safety and they will be able to get back their trust and feel more secure.
5 sensitive questions that children ask about terrorism and how to handle them appropriately.
1.     Who is a terrorist?
Ans- A terrorist is a person who hurts others and harms them. Sometimes even killing them.
2.     Why were they killing the children?
Ans- They wanted to harm people and they did not think whether the people they are killing are kids or teachers or parents.
3.     Were there no guards or policemen to save the people?
Ans- Yes there were and the guards and policemen and they tried their very best to save the people and many were saved too.
4.     Will terrorists come to my city/school too?
Ans- Well your mummy and daddy and all of us in school are going to protect you and keep you safe.
5.     Will the terrorists be caught and punished?
Ans- Yes, all the police and army will now hunt them down and capture them soon.
Let us not ignore the anxieties that may be plaguing our young children as they see images or hear about the tragedy. Let us keep our children safe and secure in the knowledge that we are there for them. It is time for our own ‘sanitization’ and ‘sensitization’ instead of ‘sensationalism’.  Let’s begin with sanitization- removing any left over fears, doubts lurking in their minds-
1.     Do not allow your child to be knowingly exposed to visuals of such violence, If you are watching a news telecast that is about the violence then take the time to explain in very simple language what he is seeing and reassure him/her that he/she is safe.
2.     While explaining do not use phrases like- ‘these are naughty boys just like you have in your class’, or, ‘see, this is why mummy tells you not to be a naughty boy then you will grow up to be like them’. All this will only worsen the trauma and damage your child’s self esteem, self-confidence and dent his/her self-image.
3.      Be very careful that you do not discuss related events in front of your child, even if you think he/she is busy playing with toys or is happily watching a kids channel; they are focusing on you all the time. So be extremely careful.
4.      Your children should not hear you say- ‘I am scared, what if this happens to me tomorrow?’, or, ‘what if this happens in my child’s school?’ this will only increase the fear psychosis in your child.
5.     Some children may bed wet, start getting scared of the dark, will be clingy and refuse to leave you alone or even start nail biting. Understand, accept and slowly reassure them.
6.     Working parents can call them at home more often if they feel that the child is unduly upset. Tell them about where you are and that you are safe, this will reduce their worry. Children get worried too about their parents!
7.     Use play therapy to help gain an insight in what is going on in your child’s mind; drawing, block play or doll play are some forms of play in which we come to know about the emotional upheaval going on in their minds.

Let’s use this time now to sensitize ourselves and our children for the future- some ways to sensitize children-
1.     Violence has become an accepted way of life for our children, they are exposed to it all the time, hence it is imperative that parents and the school do not condone any kind of violence or violent activities. When your child watches glorified violence with you (in a blockbuster movie) he understands that violence makes my parents happy, and so he will always resort to violence to solve any situation in life, instead teach him conflict resolution.
2.     Do not teach children to ‘hit back’, when children are taught this at a very young age, they use ‘hit back’ for all their life’s frustrations- most terrorists are hitting back at society.
3.     Do not gift guns to your child, a child idolizes his parents and when he receives a gun as a gift from them, he is somewhere getting a message that guns are fun and this is the first step towards violence acceptance.
4.     Many parents ask – ‘our kids say that police also use guns’, so we gift our children guns so that they children’s guns so that they idolize the police and the army. This is incorrect, guns are unsafe and should NOT   be given to children, either at Diwali or Holi or otherwise. And parents must become strong and tell them that the police and the army first had to undergo a long process of training then they got their gun license and are using it, just like you cannot drive a car and we can, because we are old enough to and have a license.
5.     Children learn by imitation- so learn anger management so that your children look at you and learn how to deal with dress and all such angry emotions.

Let’s remember it is our children and our youngsters who are our future, lets take care of them and let’s salute all the armed forces and policemen for the remarkable duty that they do to keep us safe. So the next time you are in your car and a policeman stops you to remind you about wearing a seatbelt or points out that you were talking on the phone or went through a red light, be polite to them and respect them, remember your child is watching you.

Let’s make this world a safer place for our children.

Swati Popat Vats- Director- Podar Jumbo Kids Preschools
                  President – Early Childhood Association- www.eca-india.org

39 comments:

Supervisor Apeksha said...

Thank you Ma'am for this important message it really will help us to deal with this topic as it is very sensitive and needs to be handled with care so that our children feel secured and grow strong.

Rajul Nishar said...

I Ms. RAJUL NISHAR a teacher from pjk plus vile parle would like to thank you for sharing this blog with us. As its really important to know how to take care of such situations where kids don't get wrong information and they feel insured. An also we came to know how to answer such questions through which they are satisfied.

Kalpita Bhirud said...

I Ms. Kalpita Bhirud teacher at PJK plus Vile Parle really thank you ma'am for sharing such important message where,as parent and teacher we got to learn how to handle any such situations and what answers should we give to the children without making it complicated.

Senior Mentor said...

As teachers and parents its important to educate ourselves in dealing with Children in such sensitive situations , so a must read article.
However I also feel in context with this topic that today's children are already exposed to various different forms of traumas and violence in their life- cinema, broken families etc that somewhere sensitivity and empathy is disappearing in children as they grow.
Thus if children in their growing years do exhibit emotions on exposure to such scenarios, it indicates sensitivity towards others exist. And then this article is superb to assist parents and teachers to deal with it further in the interest of the child.

Ramola Menezes said...

I Ms.Ramola Menezes teacher at PJK Plus Vile Parle would like to thank you Ma'am for sharing this blog with us and showing us the importance of handling children and making the understand about such situations which are very sensitive so that they are not scared and feel secure.

Tanvi Mody said...

I Ms. Tanvi Mody teacher of PJK Plus Vile Parle would like to thank you ma'am for sharing such an important blog with us. It's important to explain kids by telling them truth about the situation.

Sarina Oberoi said...

An article with food for thought for parents just in time.
I totally agree that children are alert and are observant and sensitive to grasp all the information from their environment and are not able to exhibit or express which if not dealt with sensitivity is not good.
Hence these questions and answers are a great help for the parents.

PJK Patiala said...

This article is surely an excellent pro-active tool to help teachers and parents empower
themselves to handle the very serious topic.
Thank you Madam for sharing such an informative and eye opening article.

PJK,Nigdi said...

Thank you ma'am.This article will be helpful for parents and teachers.we will not pass own anxiety to our children.we have learned to reply their questions.

Jumbo Kids, Chakan said...

This article is going to help us as a parent and a teacher in giving appropriate answer to the questions asked by our children. Our children often ask question as they are exposed to what is happening in our surrounding.So we need to take care of them and give them appropriate answer.

jayshree shah said...

Firstly i feel this article is posted at very appropriate time because adults also have queries and doubts in mind how to express or revert to sensitive questions asked by kids.
Truely kids have more trauma, fear when they see any kind of violence but iam sure if answered correctly and if we are able to convey as mentioned in article It is time for our own ‘sanitization’ and ‘sensitization’ instead of ‘sensationalism’.is very true .
Firstly we have to learn and update ourselves so we can convey in best way and make them feel secured.
We all should strive to make this world beautiful place ,safer for children
Thank you

Puja Supervisor said...

Thank you Ma'am for sharing such a sensitive topic with us. It is important and very helpful for parents and teachers to make children aware about such situation by explaining and telling them about truth.

Supervisor Jalpa said...

Thank You Ma'am for sharing and explaining such sensitive issue in a simple way. Indeed it is very important to teach children to be sensitive towards others. We should practice what we preach as children learn by imitation.

Nayna Trivedi said...

A sensitive issue to be dealt with utmost care. It is extremely helpful to parents as well as teachers as they are the role models for children. to tell the truth in such a way that there is no negative influence on children.Thank you maam for always guiding us.

Supervisor Bharti said...

Thank you ma'am for sharing such an important and informative article with us. As its really important to know how to take care of the sensitive situations where children don't get into bad environment and feel insured.

Mustafa king said...

Top100 Romantic Whatsapp Status

Top 100+ Miss you whatsapp status

Most Popular Impressing Girlfriends Status

Love Short Whatsapp Status

Birthday Status for impressing Girlfriends

Beautiful And Cute whatsapp status

Friendship top 100 whatsapp status

Winter whatsapp status

Cool Top 100 Whatsapp Status

Attitude 100+ whatsapp Status

Motivational and Life Related Whatsapp Status

Improving Personality Status

Daman PJK said...


Parents are the central sources of safety and security for their children. Children of different ages observe what happens, understand it and react to it differently. As adults we must remember that we cannot assume that our children's worries are the same as our own. It is important to try to understand children’s perspective from their own point of view and not impose our own ideas or beliefs upon them. At the same time, of course, we need to give them age appropriate limits, guidelines and reassurance. It is so important that we listen, listen and listen to our children. When we as adults are able to listen to our children’s feelings and concerns, we can help them learn, understand and feel safer and secure in their world. Thankyou Ma'am for sharing this article..

sejal pandya said...

Thankyou maam for sharing such helpful and eyeopening information which is really going to assist us while dealing with children and avoid scaring their young minds.We as parents,teachers and caretakers should never ignore the questions asked by tinytots and always assure them that they are safe in our hands.
Sejal pandya
PJK Nashik

sejal pandya said...

Thankyou maam for sharing such helpful and eyeopening information which is really going to assist us while dealing with children and avoid scaring their young minds.We as parents,teachers and caretakers should never ignore the questions asked by tinytots and always assure them that they are safe in our hands.
Sejal pandya
PJK Nashik

Sunita Jadhav said...

We may not even realize that watching the news coverage or talking to others about it, that we are exposing kids to trauma, fear and anxiety. I think that it is important to have conversations with children about what is happening in the world, but to do so in appropriate doses and using language that they will be able to understand. Indeed a timely addressing of the incident and it's impact on our kid's .
Sunitha Jadhav
PJK,Nashik.

Rubina Khan said...

An excellent and a must read article as a parent as well as a teacher.
Being a parent, sometimes it is very difficult to answer such sensitive questions asked by our little ones. The very empowering article in the form of question and answer in a very lucid style, gives us the feeling of confidence and satisfaction that we can explain our kids the very sensitive topic without exposing any kind of trauma.
Thank you ma'am for your valuable guidance.
Ms.Rubina Khan
PJK, Nashik.

SHAIKH SHAHNAAZ said...

Thank you Ma'am for sharing this important information.As a parent and teacher it will help us how to give satisfied answers to the kids on such sensitive topic.
Shahnaaz Shaikh
PJK,NASHIK

SHAIKH SHAHNAAZ said...

Thank you Ma'am for sharing this important information.As a parent and teacher it will help us how to give satisfied answers to the kids on such sensitive topic.
Shahnaaz Shaikh
PJK,NASHIK

Kamini Dhangar said...

Kamini Dhangar Said Thank maam for sharing this important message it is really help us to deal
with topic it is senistive needs to be handled with care so that our children feel secured.
Kamini Dhangar
PJK, NASHIK
19 November 2015

Tejashree Marathe said...

Thank you so much Maam to share this blog with us.It will really help us to give proper answer to our little ones questions. Children have more fear and trauma when they see any kind of violence but we have to be polite to them and respect their emotions. We have make sure them that they are in safe hand.
Tejashree Marathe
Teacher in PJK Nashik

Tejashree Marathe said...

Thank you so much Maam to share this blog with us.It will really help us to give proper answer to our little ones questions. Children have more fear and trauma when they see any kind of violence but we have to be polite to them and respect their emotions. We have make sure them that they are in safe hand.
Tejashree Marathe
Teacher in PJK Nashik

Jayanthi Subramanian said...

Thank you Maam for sharing the article which really forced us to think on the adverse effects which a child can have on the happenings . With these guidence each one of us like a Parent/ Teacher can contribute to some extent on the child's acceptance to the happening events and their future .

Jayanthi Subramanian
Teacher in PJK Nashik

Sunita Sharma said...

Thank you Ma’am for the guidance to deal with the anxiety and curiosity about terrorism in Children’s mind. This will also help our kids to overcome the fear and trauma in future.

Best Regards,

Sunita Sharma
PJK Nashik

Jumbo Kids Nashik said...

Thank you Ma'am for sharing guidance on such a sensitive topic and how can it be dealt with simplicity with assuring kids their safety. The points mentioned in ways to sensitize children will play a vital role for both parents as well as kids.

Sakina Telwala said...

Thank you Maam for sharing such a important blog, This will surely help us to deal with the questions raised by our little ones..It is very important as a parent and a teacher to make our children belive that they are in safe hands by answering their inquisitiveness and removing their fear. Warm regards, Sakina Telwala,
PJK Nasik.

Supriya Labhade said...

Thank you Maam for sharing an excellent and important information to all of us. This will surely help us as well as parents to pass on knowledge and information to kids in proper manner. Also this will help us to satisfactorily clear the doubts raised by the kids. Thank you.

Supriya Labhade
PJK Nashik

Rajalakshmi S said...

Thank you Ma'am for sharing an excellent and important information. As its really important to know how to take care of such situations where kids don't get wrong information.Indeed it is very important to teach children to be sensitive towards others.Also we came to know how to answer such questions through which they are satisfied.This will help us as well as our parents to pass on knowledge and information to kids in proper manner.

WITH REGARDS,
RAJALAKSHMI,
PJK, NASHIK

Shweta pawar( bhosle) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shweta pawar( bhosle) said...

Thanks ma'am, for sharing this important and wonderful information because children really have lots of questions in their mind. Now we can explain them about what is terrorism and the truth, also we have learnt to reply to their questions. We have to make sure that they are in safe hands and assure them about it too...
With regards,
Shweta pawar (bhosle)
PJK , NASHIK

Rashmi Gawde said...

A wonderful and educative article which will help us teachers to answer in a better way, the pointed questions that children ask on such sensitive issues. The sensationalism indulged in, by many news channels needs to be countered by sensitizing young, impressionable minds. Indeed, this needs to be done not just by us teachers but also by the parents. This can be best achieved under the guidance of an experienced educationist like you.
I would like to thank you Ma'am for sharing this article with us.
Warm regards,
Rashmi S. Gawde
Podar Jumbo Kids,
Nashik.

MRUNALINI SHINDE said...

A very informative and timely article . Its difficult to evaluate the trauma that a child faces when they such things around them. A number of questions upsurge in their minds which remain unanswered. This article indeed will help everyone around us to answer these queries.
Thank You Ma'am for such a wonderful article
Mrunalini shinde
PJK,Nashik

Siddhi Shaharkar said...

This article is definitely going to help everybody to answer the questions raised about terrorism. Generally it becomes very difficult to come up with an answer when kids raise question about terrorism. Thank you Ma'am for sharing this article

Siddhi shaharkar
PJK, Nashik

Jayshree Nemade said...

Thank you ma'am for the wonderful article. It is a very sensitive topic and it becomes very important to solve these queries in a careful manner so as,not to create an adverse impact in the young minds. Worth reading .
Jayshree Nemade
PJK, Nashik

sejjal dave said...

Terrorist attacks and their aftermath have had a powerful impact on children and their families. Media and television exposure of terrorist events throughout the world has increased during the past few years hence the above article will surely help us to answers the questions of the children as a teacher as well as a mother. So i would really like to thank mam for sharing an informative blog on such a sensitive topic.
Sejal Dave
PJK Baramati