It’s sad and we are all hurting but Sri Lanka’s emergency state is as real as it gets right now. Following the Easter Day Massacre; a merciless carnage that destroyed the lives of many, marking the Holiest day of the Christian calendar in the blood of its devout, the island has been thrown into a general state of constant fear, alarms, trepidation and state of emergency. Children process these things differently than we do and therefore as parents it is important to know where you should draw the line and how you should explain things to them.
They need to know what they need to know
As much as you would like to protect your child from the truth, you should not and you cannot. Telling them things in a matter of fact way (minus all the grisly details they may not be equipped to handle) can actually help keep them safe.
So what should you tell your child?
- Explain that the world outdoors is currently not as safe as it was a week ago
- Give them instructions on not wandering alone on streets and how to stay indoors
- Tell them how to keep out for suspicious looking people – kids have better instincts than we do
- Tell them what to do to ensure their safety in times of danger
- Tell them to not behave hurtfully towards anybody because of their Faith – we are one people. There is no division – we are Sri Lankans.
What should you not tell your child?
- Too much information on the deaths and bloodshed
- Negative information about other Faiths
- Negative information about people belonging to other Faiths
- Anything that could instigate violence and hatred or anger in their minds – children are gullible, be wise.