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How to talk to children about terrorism

The NSPCC has shared guidelines on how to offer support and advice to children in the wake of a terror attack...

The NSPCC has issued guidelines to help parents offer support and advice


By Katie Jones, country living

Many parents will be trying to reassure their children following the Manchester Arena attack which killed 22 people and injured at least 59 others at an Ariana Grande concert.

With thousands of young people in attendance, there may be some who are worried about how to talk to their children about what they are seeing on the news and how they are feeling.
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'Our advice for any child or teenager upset and anxious in light of this news is for them to talk to a trusted adult, be it a parent, teacher or Childline,' a spokesperson for child protection charity NSPCC said following the attack.

Here are the guidelines the charity has shared on how to offer support and advice to children in the wake of a terror attack.

1. 
Listen carefully to a child's fears and worries.
Make sure they know their feelings and thoughts are being heard and don't dismiss them. If you don't acknowledge their fears, they might not open up to you.

2. 
Offer reassurance and comfort

Explain that it's perfectly normal to feel sad or worried following tragic news and that they're not alone in feeling this way. Reassure them that they are surrounded by a safe and secure environment and that are people to turn to for comfort and support.
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3. 
Avoid complicated and worrying explanations that could leave them more frightened and confused.

Families shouldn't shy away from talking about tragic events, but the NSPCC advises avoiding focusing on unnecessary details that could leave children feeling traumatised by what has happened. Remind children that these kind of events are rare and give them lots of reassurance about their everyday lives.

4. 
Help them find advice and support to understand distressing events and feelings.
As well as speaking to parents, children can look to teachers and schools for reliable sources for information.

There are also a number of free counselling services that children can speak to about issues that might be affecting them, including fears that have been sparked by the news. Children and young people can contact Childline for free, confidential support and advice on how to get through a tough time. The service is open 24 hours a day on 0800 1111 or at www.childline.org.uk
 
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Lifestyle Magazine: How to talk to children about terrorism
How to talk to children about terrorism
The NSPCC has shared guidelines on how to offer support and advice to children in the wake of a terror attack...
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