The Ariana Grande Manchester bombing that left 22 dead and many injured is in all out thoughts at the moment. There were 21,000 people at the concert that was targeted by a suicide bomber yesterday evening and a large proportion were children and teenagers.
It can be really hard and upsetting to try to explain to children what is happening in the world and why. This incident is all the more shocking because it appears to have been a deliberate attack against children and young people.
Here are 8 things to remind someone who is scared:
1. It’s really important the you don’t cover up your feelings if you are scared. Don’t worry quietly inside. Talk to someone you love and trust if you are worried about frightening news events.
2. When there is a big event in the news, lots of inaccurate information ends up on the internet, so try to avoid it. Make sure you get your news from a trusted place like the BBC, Channel 4 or Sky news. Things that happen in the news will be talked about in the school playground or lunch hall, or in online chats. Better that you know the real facts, rather than hearing exaggerated or confused versions from other people. You need correct information, not misinformation.
3. Remember that terrorism has always been there – as far back as Guy Fawkes’ Gunpowder Plot in 1605. There were seven assassination attempts on Queen Victoria during her 63-year reign in the 1800s. For 30 years, Britain lived with bomb attacks from the IRA over the Northern Ireland troubles. But there is always a solution. Right now, Islamic State (known as IS or Daesh) and other terror groups are trying to frighten the world into doing what they want. But, they will be defeated. There will be a solution. In the meantime, children will continue going to school, parents will continue to go to work, families will continue to go to sports events, concerts and on holiday
4. Life continues.
5. Remember that events like the Manchester attack are extremely rare, which is why they are in the news. We haven’t seen a big explosive attack like this in Britain since the London bombings in 2005 – some children today won’t even have been born then! The likelihood of being caught up in an event like this is so, so small, you can’t even do the sum to calculate the risk.
6. The police are doing all they can to make sure that you are safe. More than 400 police officers were working through the night after the attack. Thousands more are working to try to stop events like this happening again.
7. Remember, too, that there is much more good news than bad news happening. And that there are many more good people than bad people.
8. Love is stronger than hate. Hug your family and friends a little bit closer and for a little bit longer.