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Talking about terrorist attacks

Family Consultant, Liz Wilson, blogs.

A terrorist attack brings fear, confusion, pain and sadness to all who hear about it.

Last night, a terrorist attack killed 22 concert goers in Manchester, including an unknown number of children.  Today we are waking up to the news on TV, radio and social media.  There can’t be many people in the UK who don’t know by now.

I’ve been wondering how I will talk about the attack with my adult daughter (who has learning disabilities) when she gets home from college on Friday.

I’ve written myself a list, hoping that maybe, it will help others in a similar situation.

·         Don’t try to hide the news, it is everywhere

·         Assume she knows about it even if she doesn’t mention it

·         Ask if she’s heard the news and be open to a conversation

·         Give a short, accurate version of the events

·         Answer questions honestly

·         Remember it’s ok to cry with each other about the horror of it all

·         Don’t minimise fears, the threat is real, but do explain how rare these attacks are

·         Be aware that she might be unwilling to go into town or to big events for a while

·         Explain what we can do to stay safe

·         Let her know about all the good and kind people who are the majority

·         Offer an opportunity to go to a vigil or similar if one is happening nearby

Having these kinds of conversations is hard. But everybody is different and only you know how best to communicate with your loved one.

It is my hope that one day there is no longer a need to have them.