This week I have had to discuss a rather serious issue with my two youngest children aged 13 and 10. An issue that I have already discussed in great length with my eldest children aged 20 and 18! If you are thinking it’s the birds and bees conversation then I am afraid you are wrong, as with two older children in the house the two youngest think they know all of that already! The serious issue is what to do in the event they are involved in a terrorist attack!
I honestly thought that this was something that I would never have to raise but due to the world we currently live in and the fact that I believe we still have to live our lives freely it is something I have had to do recently.
We may think that it does not affect us but only recently my two youngest sons were advised that as Sea Cadets they were to ensure that they covered their uniforms when travelling to and from their Unit in order that they cannot be picked out by any unsavory characters.
School trips also are always part of a child’s life and as they move through school’s from Primary School to High School they tend to begin with trips to the local zoo and then perhaps London for a weekend before moving on to trips to Paris and even Kenya when in High School.
My youngest is due to go on a trip to Edinburgh soon with school whilst his brother will be spending several days in France including Paris. Whilst Edinburgh may not be a direct target the same cannot be said for Paris so we have had the talk!
I have sat them down and expressed that there are unfortunately bad people in the world and if they should, heaven forbid, find themselves involved in a terrorist attack they must run and hide if it’s possible to do so or alternatively I have told them to play dead and stay still till help arrives in the form of Police Officers or Soldiers. While it breaks my heart to tell them this, and even as I am typing this I can feel my eyes filling with tears at the world we live in, to me this is as important as telling them about stranger danger.
I have tried not to scare them but they discuss things like this also at school and many schools now complete terrorist drills alongside fire drills.
I have also impressed upon them that there will always be good people and if you watch the video below just like Fred Rogers I have told them to look for the helpers!
I also showed them this video and then we discussed all the good things we hear about people who help after bad events.
It has never been an option for my family and I to stop living our lives because of fear but that does not mean that we do not talk about it or prepare for it.
I am pleased to say that the talk went well and they weren’t scared just relieved that we had discussed how to try and deal with it if they should ever find themselves in an incident although I hope that we never have to find out.
The world would be a much better place if we all just got along and realized that we are all member’s of the same race – the human race.