Such violence and pointless death at the hands of human to human is, I find, too much to comprehend.
Like so many, I sit hear unbelievably shocked and saddened about the attack and death of MP Jo Cox.
Equally the horror of the Orlando shooting has been playing on my mind.
I feel weighed down by the world we live in. When I think about explaining it to my children? Well I don’t know if I can.
We are trying to raise our children in an honest home where they are given information and allowed to form their own opinions. We want them to have an understanding of the world and all that’s in it so that they can be well-rounded and empathic. For instance the older ones (9 and 7) have had chats with us about Syria and the refugee crisis. They wrote letters recently as part of a campaign to MPs on the Dubs amendment. My eldest accompanied me on a protest march and she was soon chanting in acceptance of others.
This sharing of the adult world has come about slowly and it’s not always been out of choice. I recall starting to turn off the radio when I realised my eldest could understand and she would ask why the man was talking about bombs. But school covers the news with them and they have peers who get more information, so at some point we learnt to include them.
Now however, I’m back to turning off the radio. Talking very loudly to mask the sound of the news. Not leaving articles lying around.
Because, how do we explain these stories of killing to them?
I spend so much of my work world immersed in the development of people. Understanding how the challenges and negative experiences people can have as babies and youngsters can affect them and working to undo this with therapeutic and empathic work. I pass this on to my brood, I hope. I explain to them that not every one gets what they need in love and attention when they are little and it can make it harder for them to be, to learn, to take part in life. I believe this.
I still don’t know how to explain the tragic news stories. The theory doesn’t sit with the reality perhaps.
I also believe that often mental health issues are involved in these awful events. But this is rather close to home. If I use this as reasoning for such acts will my children make links to their granny or other relatives who they know live with mental illness? It’s hard enough giving them the realness of bipolar. I don’t want a picture painted of that’s full of darkness.
And so still I have no answer.
On one hand I know that children can be far more accepting of life events than adults. If they are given the facts in age appropriate ways then they can show great resilience. However I also believe kids can worry. I see the worry gene in my own some times and I don’t want to add fuel to it. We had tears when they awoke to the conservatives in charge so how they’d handle murder! I just don’t know.
I will continue to silence the news in our house, for now. I fear this will not work for long.
My thoughts go out to anyone affected by acts of violence and crime.
I hope love can win out.