What happened in Paris last Friday is still spinning in my mind. It’s quite difficult as an adult to comprehend that there are people in this world capable of such atrocities. I remember being a pretty carefree teenager on 11th September 2011 but when my Dad told me what had happened in America that day when he picked me up scared the hell out of me.
Terrorism. The word alone is one that sends chills down your spine.
I’m not politically equipped to be able to give you a comprehensive and factually correct opinion about why such groups are doing what they are, but what I do feel and am about to share probably won’t sit well with many.
I don’t want to talk to my children about terrorism.
I don’t want to tell my six year old about what happened on Friday in Paris. Some of you will have read the last two sentences in utter disgust. Why am I lying to him? I must have no regard, respect or compassion for those affected not just last Friday but what happens every day across our world. Surely we should we honest and open with our kids so who do I think I am to let him be blinkered? …but honestly? It is because I am scared. Scared of the Unknown. Scared to share with him that such mindless evil walks the same planet. Scared that there’s no way you can predict or know what, where or when. I don’t want to live my life in fear and I refuse to but similarly I don’t want him to feel the same and have his innocent shattered.
Like when I was 15 and talk of war, stacks, threats, danger, death – I couldn’t understand it. 14 years on I still can’t but I can process it a little more. But I honestly don’t think my six year old can. And I don’t want him to have to.
I wish that no one had to talk to their children about it. I wish no child had to experience or witness it first hand. But sadly for some it’s a regular occupancy.
At the age of six, I want Charlie to enjoy being carefree. We all know that this period of ignorant bliss where the biggest dilemma is fish fingers or chicken nuggets doesn’t last long. He has already had a taste of harsh reality when his beloved Granny died when he was 5. I don’t want to sugar coat the world – that is impossible. But for me, the ins and outs of terrorism isn’t one that we will be discussing over breakfast.
Am I sheltering him? Creating a false sense of security? I don’t know. But all I do know, is that my job as a parent is to protect my children and if that means not telling him about terrorism then so be it. That is my choice and I’m happy to stick by it. When he is older there will be no way I can stop him being exposed to such atrocities but for now, our house is as it always has been – a news free place.
These are my views. I do not judge anyone who talks to their kids about terrorism. We all parent differently and this is my stance on these issues. Please respect them!