Attacks: how to talk about the drama to children?
They saw pictures on TV. Heard the comments of the journalists. However, to approach the subject with them as parents are nevertheless essential. The advice of the psychologist and psychoanalyst Monique de Kermadec.
It is tough to find the right words to talk about such a drama to children. Why not let the professionals (teachers, journalists …) take care of it?
Parents need to speak. Precisely to enable the child to clarify all the different discourses he has heard and to help him to reach a global meaning. All the more so in the children’s playground, the children exchange among themselves, and the discussions are going well. It is excellent, the speech is free, but often the discourse is contradictory, the information distorted … That is why at home parents must help children to share between fantasies, projections and what happened.
However, what should they know? Is it better to spare them?
Putting words on violence is paradoxically the best way to keep it at bay. Even with the little ones who seem not fully to understand what is going on. They feel the agony of their parents, the agitation. Moreover, they need explanations. Of course, it is not about getting into the gory details. However, let’s just say what happened: “Men shot at journalists because they had published drawings that made them furious, the consequences of their actions were dramatic, the journalists died. Far-reaching.”
How do we do it?
We will try to approach the subject in the most serene way possible, taking distance with his emotions. The best thing is to ask the child what he knows about the drama. Moreover, let him talk. We can then complete the elements that are missing and help him clarify his thinking. Because, of course, with older children, you can not just stick to facts. To speak of such a drama leads to questions. In any case, it is an opportunity to talk with you about your personal values. Remind him that no one has the right to reach the life of another person, whatever his reasons. Show him the value of life, the need to respect it.
What to face images that circulate on the Net?
It is important to remind them that these images are not fictional. What they see on the screen is not a movie or video game. However, reality. The violence they witness is irreversible. There is no turning back. The men who died in this attack will not resurrect.
How to calm their anxieties?
It is important to tell the child that he has the right to be afraid. However, to add that if single one feels helpless before such a surge of violence, together, united, united, solutions will be found. We must talk to him about the solidarity movement that was born after the attack, rallies, marches that take place all over Us and in the world. One can also go with him, but not without having explained the symbolic function. Moreover, of course, we will talk about the strengthening of the police forces that are being implemented to protect citizens. However, the best way to appease the anxiety of our children is to get them to express freely what they feel, even if their feelings do not always conform to the surrounding discourses.