Like many of you, my mind has been once again muddled and confused since the attack in Manchester. What is happening in the world? How has it changed so much since I was a little girl? Why is there so much hate and harm?
So many questions and answers so scarce. How do we make sense of things that don’t make sense or in fact never should make sense? As adults, we struggle with understanding. We watch countless reports of the Manchester attack on all social media platforms and across all television and radio stations. There is no rest from the updates and the information as it becomes available.
Is all of this information helpful? Does it keep us safe and give us enough information to protect ourselves? Or, could this plethora of information be somewhat harmful to us? I don’t know the answer to that, probably something only the greatest of psychologists could explain.
My concern is our children. They are being bombarded with information, images and updates that, in my opinion, are beyond their ability to process. If, we as adults struggle to understand, how is it even fathomable that our children could come close to comprehending the unsettling violence that unfolds seemingly daily across the globe?
Parents, hold your children close and keep them close. Create safe places for them. Make your homes havens for them to run to. Do whatever you can to let them know that even when the world is unsettled, your love for them is strong and consistent and that your care for them unwavering. Let them know that they are safe.
How is this done?
1) Physical touch – hold them. Let them feel your loving arms around them.
2) Spend quality time with them – play board games or online games, watch their favourite show, spend time listening to their music. Simply be with them.
3) Pray with them – each night pray. Use it as a time to voice concerns that rest their hearts. Give them space to speak those concerns out without you responding. Lead by example.
4) Let laughter resonate throughout the home. Find something to laugh at every day.
5) Talk about the things they’ve seen on the news. Answer whatever questions they may have in regard to what they’ve seen. Use open-ended questions like, ‘have you heard or seen anything lately that has made you scared or concerned about things?’
6) Eliminate any racial slurs, jokes or negative speech in your house. Speak well of people and celebrate difference.
7) Always kiss your children goodnight. Even if they are asleep.
These are just a few suggestions that can help you create safe places for your children allowing them the opportunity to process things that really are beyond not only their understanding but ours, as parents and grandparents, as well.
Life certainly is different today than it was 40 years ago. Being safe was never really a concern when I was a child but I realise it is now. Be wise and let your children know and live safety in your homes.