Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Parenting in an Age of Terror

Parenting in an Age of Terror


What impact does news of war and terrorism have on children?

Does seeing the wreckage of downed airliners, missiles flying and gunfire in the streets affect them? What do we tell them? It is unlikely children are actually going to be touched by war or terrorist attacks in New Zealand but our children could become frightened and upset.

Do not assume children will take the same information as adults from a news broadcast. “I was in an intermediate school on the morning of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington,” recalls John Cowan from The Parenting Place. “The children had witnessed thousands of lives snuffed out while they ate their breakfast. Those events were so monstrous that even adult brains were wheel-spinning, and so it is understandable that their immature interpretations of the events were bizarre. There was lot of excitement. ‘We’re going to be in a war!’ One girl ran around the playground asking people (including myself) which country we were from, presumably to sort out friend from foe. Another child’s incomplete geography added to her fear: she mistook ‘Washington’ for ‘Wellington’. As the days wore on, and the TVs kept showing the images of destruction over and over, I heard from several parents that their children became worried and anxious, especially at night.”

Cowan urges parents to add their grown-up perspective. “Childish imagination fills the gaps between real facts. It needs more than just the children sharing their views in a classroom forum, it really needs an adult to overlay the true significance and meaning. Talk to your kids and ask what they are afraid of. Their fears might be wildly amplified beyond real risks. Be honest with them about the safety of where you live. The truth might be very reassuring”.

He also advocates limiting exposure to graphic images and descriptions in the news.

“When they are watching with you, add your commentary. Teach them that the news loves to show hot-headed people, but that there are cool-headed people as well. After significant events, the news will always screen interviews with people expressing extreme views – often calling for blood and vengeance. Not every view is true, not every dire prediction comes to pass. Teach them to filter and interpret news.”

News footage can look very much like the graphics of an exciting movie or video game, but they are real people being killed and hurt. “We do not want them afraid, but we do not want them uncaring, either”, says Cowan. “It might be a long way away and happening to people unlike us, but they should sense our own sober concern and compassion.”

If your children experience sleep loss, nightmares, loss of appetite or changes in behaviour that lasts more than two weeks, you should seek professional help from a doctor or counsellor.


Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Interim Report: Waitangi Tribunal On Ture Whenua Legislation

Labour on Proposed changes to Maori land rules: “To have Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson dismiss findings as ‘bizarre’ is totally disingenuous and disrespectful. What’s bizarre is Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell stubbornly pushing through this Bill before the Waitangi Tribunal has even completed its report..." More>>

ALSO:

Spy Update: Appointment Of GCSB Acting Director

GCSB Chief Legal Advisor Lisa Fong will become the Acting Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) from 15 February 2016, Minister Responsible for the GCSB Christopher Finlayson announced today. More>>

Protests Close Roads: TPP Signed In Auckland

“TPP was signed by Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Viet Nam.” More>>

ALSO:

Emails Behind 'Diplomatic Immunity' Case: Whitehead Report Released

“As previously indicated the conclusions reached by Mr Whitehead’s investigation are not unexpected but they are very disappointing,” Mr Mccully says. “At the heart of the matter is a single email, along with procedural shortcomings, which gave Malaysian officials the impression it would be acceptable for Mr Rizalman to return to Malaysia." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Treaty/TPP Overlap, And Iowa

The fears about the ISDS provisions in the Trans Pacific Partnership deal are well-founded. The reality is that there is a sharp uptick in the occurrence of ISDS litigation in developed countries, and even the right wing likes of The Economist have been souring on the process for some time. More>>

ALSO:

Christchurch Red Zone Offers: Fresh High Court Proceedings

Grant Cameron, Solicitor for the Quake Outcasts said “the action seeks judicial review of the Crown’s recent decision to make a fresh offer to purchase properties from uninsured property owners in red zones. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Post-Cabinet Press Conference: Waitangi And TPP

Prime Minister John Key on Tuesday said his office has received an invitation for him to visit the Lower Marae on Waitangi Day, but was waiting for a meeting of the Te Tii Marae Trustees. More>>

ALSO:

Flagged: 'Wrong Colour' Bridge Flag To Change

NZ First: Only 13 days after National trumpeted its legally questionable flag on Auckland Harbour Bridge, it is now coming down because it is the wrong colour... “Mr Key’s latest flag fiasco is another waste of taxpayers' money. Given it is coming down, down is exactly the location where it should remain. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Children Head Back To School

“Across the whole of this year we expect 61,820 five year olds will begin their primary schooling for the first time,” says the Ministry of Education head of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey. More>>

ALSO:

Dog & Lemon: FBI Disagrees With NZ Government Over Police Chases

Multiple studies, quoted by the FBI, show that once suspects realise they're no longer being chased; they tend to slow down to normal driving speeds and therefore become far less of a risk. The FBI report also categorically rejected the argument that abandoning police chases meant ‘giving in’ to offenders. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news