“Mummy Why All The Shooting?”

So, there we were, me and my boy, singing along to the radio in the car … well, actually, I was more rapping like a boss to Tinie Tempah (definitely not Tiny, no I didn’t need my daughter to tell me that at all) … you know how it is … like I owned that rap … because, obviously, as you’ve probably already guessed … I could have been a rapper … just chose not to be. OK, we will ignore the point here that my son once told me when I was ‘rapping like a boss’ in the kitchen “Mummy, don’t ever audition for the X Factor” … ouch … short lived dreams and all that.

… but moving swiftly on, there we were, happy in our own little bubble when … boom … the news comes on … and as quick as a flash … the happy, chilled out vibe of listening to the radio and spending time with my boy is replaced with terror … terror plots on London, men arrested for planned drive by shootings … in London … where Daddy works, where my boy’s big sister spends the majority of her time … right in our lives … right in our space … right there on the radio, in our bubble … fear for whoever is listening … no thought for the age group who may hear those words … no warning … no glossing over with age appropriate words … absolutely no regard for the fact that now my boy is having to process some pretty crazy shit rubbish in his too young a mind to have to understand … and let’s be honest, I’m sure that most adults don’t understand either.

… and this is the thing with the radio … we have no control over its content … we just have to remember that in between ‘rapping like the boss’ we have to switch from wannabe worldwide superstar rapper sensation to responsible parent in 2 seconds flat and turn the radio off … and trust me, that is not so easy for me when I get lost in the moment … but also, my boy is getting to the age that when he hears the news on the radio he kind of knows that there is something being said that is different from the world he lives in and he knows … he turns the volume up just that little bit more … his curious developing mind beginning to realise that perhaps the world isn’t all beautiful and rosy like the one I’ve shown him.

… am I wrong to want to protect him? Am I wrong to not want to discuss terrorism with him yet? Do I want him to worry when Daddy goes to work or his sister gets on the tube? Isn’t it my right, in some shape or form, to try to let him have a trouble free childhood? He’s aware of poverty and worn torn countries and we commit to the charity work abroad and in the UK … but is it fair that he should hear about terror so very close to home?

Lori Lite, a parenting stress expert and author, says that you should limit the amount of exposure your child has to media coverage of terrorism so that stress is managed. Obviously the level of exposure and content to a 5 year old would be less than to that of a 15 year old and she goes on to explain that it is important that we listen and acknowledge their feelings of fear but ensure that we provide hugs and comfort so that they feel safe.

Sadly, there is no answer … terror isn’t going to go away … we have to accept it’s a reality and learn the best way we can to discuss it with our children whilst not putting our fears on to them … this is no easy feat … but whoever said parenting was easy? … we certainly have our work cut out in today’s day and age to try and protect our children … just saying.

Would love to hear your views on news content during the day and how you’ve handled talking to your children about this very difficult and emotive subject.

Diary of an imperfect mum

 

 

 

 

 

24 thoughts on ““Mummy Why All The Shooting?”

  1. This is something I haven’t really ever considered with regards to the radio but you make a very interesting point. Actually without images I expect sometimes people think it is less obvious for young people but actually I think it can be scarier because they pick out key words without the distraction of video style images. I remember being terrified about the age of 10 during the 1st gulf war when I saw images on the news. You have given me lots to think about…

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    1. Oh thank you for your comment – I think you’re right – words have a huge impact – particularly when children know they aren’t meant to be hearing them! I know friends who don’t have the news on with their children in the car because of the terrifying stories. Thank you once again for reading and commenting lovely xx

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  2. Oh gosh this is such a difficult one. Of course we want to protect them from the crazy world we live in and as a parent I really believe that this is our duty but on the other hand we need to teach them to be aware and cautious etc. It is scary how much they learn. Oldest who is 6 heard about the Paris shootings from the playground and came home distraught because she couldn’t understand why anyone would want to hurt anyone. It was very tricky to try and explain. Living in Jersey does have its benefits in that I think the children on the island have a more of a carefree childhood here as you can feel very isolated from everything that is going on in the real world. #bloggerclubuk

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    1. Isn’t it? It really got to me when the news came on this week. They hear so much at school and you don’t want them to hear it and be scared but there is so little we can do to protect them – I think I’m going to move to Jersey – sounds just perfect. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment lovely xx

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  3. I’ve often thought about this, and how eventually we would broach the subject with our daughter. That’s a long way off (she’s only 9 months) but it’s always in the forefront of my mind as we live in London. Hopefully when she is old enough to learn, perhaps the world won’t be as bad as it is, and the conversation will be easier. However I’m sure that with TV and an ever increasing social media presence there isn’t much getting away from it, and I will need to have a very careful conversation. This is such a thought provoking subject Helen. Claire x #BloggerClubUK

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    1. Oh thank you for such a lovely thought out comment. Ironically, I was in London today and as I stepped off the train all the alarms were going and we were being told to evacuate the station – terrifying – it is a reality we live in and we need to be really wary of how we discuss with our children. Thank you for your comment xx

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  4. Oh Helen, such an interesting post. This is definitely something I think about…possibly overthink it as my son is only two and a half. When he became verbal we switched from watching the news in bed in the morning (which was becoming increasing terror and war torn at that time) to CBeebies. I so much, like every parent want him to grow up in a world that is safe and loving but the reality is that his little world will be…I can control that but big world isn’t always and yes he will need to know about that but the balance will be not allowing overanxiety win. I was reading the week the other day which had a feature on the refugee crisis…my son came to read with me…why are they on boats mummy? Why are they sad mummy? And so I explained the best I could. I think children have solid starting points to understand things to a degree…terror when it threatens our little worlds of safety is going to be inexplicable to an extent for all…children and adults. I’ll share on Twitter with you (need to find the quote first!) one of my favourite quotes of recent times. Sorry for the ramble, probably should have thought through my reply before commenting! #familyfun

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    1. Lucy, thank you so much for your comment. You make such a good point when you mention that is inexplicable to even adults so how on earth do we explain to our children. It’s just our role to make them feel safe and protected and to listen and understand their fears. It was just one of those moments in the car with my boy that I thought how dare the terror of this world interrupt our precious time and make him feel unsafe – makes me so cross. Thank you so much for your quote on twitter – so true – and thank you for taking the time to read and comment xx

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  5. so sad that this is something that we have to add to our list of worries when it comes to what they are exposed to. Mine is turning five this month. So far we’ve been able to shield her from the horrors of what is happening in the world, but I know that we aren’t far off from having to find a way to explain things to her.

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  6. Helen this is so hard as I live in a land with no censorship. The f word said freely, information shared. I also have an autistic son who suffers with very bad anxiety who can not watch or listen to news. He needs shielding but at school he hears things. He asked at the dinner table about the Belgium attacks, naturally it is outpr neighbour. We do our best to make him feel safe and protected new think that’s all we can do. I find it especially hard as it scares me and I try not to pass that fear into him. Such a great post again! TY for linking up to #FamilyFun 🎉

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    1. Thank you, Catie. It must be so hard for you to not pass your fear on – children aren’t silly either so we have to try extra hard and perhaps in your situation even more so. But you’re right, we can only try our best in a situation that is beyond our control xx thank you for hosting a great linky xx

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  7. I’m all for protecting little E until he gets to a certain age. Maybe when he’s somewhere between elementary school and middle school. That’s such a scary thing though. I feel like if we were to explain it to early he’d be worried all the time and I completely agree with the fact that you want your child to have a worry free child hood. The world we’re raising our children in is becoming a scary place. I pray that we will give the right tools and knowledge when the time is right to handle situations such as this. Thank you for sharing. #familyfun

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  8. Hmmm it’s a super tricky one. I think many might disagree, but I try to protect my little one from seeing anything unsavoury on the news. She’s very little and I am so aware that the smallest worrying thing could have a big impact on her little world. I know as she gets older this will have to change. #familyfun

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  9. I haven’t given it a lot of though because my children are still too young to be able to understand the news. But if anything slightly violent should appear on tv (strange cartoons that are not age appropriate or violent) I change the channel straight away. I really don’t want them to be exposed to it and I going forward I think I would like to preserve their innocence as long as it is possible and safe to do so.

    #FamilyFun

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    1. Oh I used to do that too – and now it’s the radio! Its just that mine are a little older and hearing things I’d rather they didn’t have to but, sadly, I can’t protect them forever. Thank you for your comment x

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  10. To put it really not so bloody eloquently sometimes our world flippin sucks. I think you are right not to expose him. I think the less worry the better. Its a fine line as you need them to be aware of potential dangers around them but not to remove the innocence of their short lived childhoods!
    #bloggerclubuk

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  11. My son is only 3 so haven’t had to worry about this yet but it is certainly a big issue and one that requires a lot of thought. It’s so hard to find the balance. It’s almost impossible to protect your children from all news and media coverage but at the same time we have to manage that exposure. I work in London too, as does my dad, so would definitely be something to really worry T when he is older. No idea what the answer is but thank you for the thought-provoking post. Gives me some time to think about how I’m going to deal with it! X #bloggerclubuk

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  12. I’m with you all the way! I hate when things like that pop up on the radio or tv. I don’t like hearing them myself let alone the kids hearing it & me trying to explain about horrible things that happen in the world. I understand the need to let people know the news but it really is awful when children are listening. Thanks so much for linking up with us at #bloggerclubuk

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