Support the Café
Search our site

The Paris attacks: Conversations with children

The Paris attacks: Conversations with children

Anne Perkins, a writer for The Guardian, writes in “How to talk with your children about the Paris attacks” that

In the US, where schoolchildren rehearse as a matter of course what to do if a random psychopath comes by with a submachine gun, some serious and intelligent thought has been given to the question of how to give your kids a chance to talk about what they’ve seen on the news or social media. The fundamental rule seems to be to give them the chance to tell you what they know and how they are processing it. Scary? Weird? Likely to happen to them? And where on the scale between interesting and the stuff of nightmares?

Depending on the age of the child, the conversation can be complex. Perkins gives as an example an approach from the French Le P’tit Libé:

…it does use the word serious, a much better word. It explains there are violent people who are full of hate and want everyone to see the world the way they see it, and their weapon of choice is fear. This is a very rough paraphrase of what they say next:

“Isis is a group of people like that. It says it’s attacking France in retaliation for its part in bombing Isis strongholds in Iraq and Syria. Everyone’s talking about it because that’s what people do when they are shocked. It’s natural. The French government wants to keep people safe, so for a few days, it wants to encourage people to stay at home and not go to school or the library. Some people will claim that all Muslims are bad but of course that is not true. Everyone wants to remember the people who died, hence the minute’s silence, and perhaps to light a candle in their memory.”

It’s about perspective, critical thinking and, in the end, comfort:

…encourage your children to develop a sense of proportion, to think about the nature of risk. More important, encourage them to think about what is being claimed, how they would argue against it, and what they think they could do to help resolve the problems as they understand them – and what the government could do too. Is bombing the answer? Is violence ever the answer?

And then go for hugs, teddy and the Paddington DVD.

 

Dislike (0)
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Facebooktwitterrss
Support the Café
Past Posts
2020_001

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café