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Yesterday when I picked up my seven year old daughter from her friend’s place, I was bowled over by her curiosities and questions about the terrorist attack in London. Seemed while the friend’s family was watching television, the girls also got to know about what had happened in that part of the world. The worry and anxieties were also aggravated as she had been thinking about another close friend who was leaving for London next week for vacation.
I tried to divert her mind asking her about how her play date went however could avert her questions only for sometime since again at the bed time she had only this topic to discuss.
“Mom, you know something happened to London bridge today? The nursery rhyme — London bridge is falling down? Did it fall down?”
She was scared and her mind and imagination were knitting stories of a possible terrorist attack in Delhi. I understood that it was wiser for me as a parent to address her concerns by an intelligent discussion rather than postponing it.
“Mom, can something like this happen to us, to my friends some day?”
I nodded in affirmation. She went on — “But why do people do it? “
“Various reasons misguide people to do it, the greed, the selfishness and some people’s innate desires and instincts to get satisfaction while troubling others. “ I said.
She went on — “Yes mom, like some of the boys in my class always trouble me and my friends by stealing our pencils and erasers and sometimes spilling water from our bottles!” I smiled at her innocence. Kids and their world!
I emphasized how our army, soldiers and the entire intelligence teams are working day and night to ensure that all of us can do what we want to do peacefully, so that we can smile and enjoy.
“You are right mom, our class teacher told us once how our brave soldiers are guarding our borders with our neighbours Pakistan and China! She was relating as she said–“ And in our class she makes marshals for each table so that the naughty children cannot trouble good children or at least trouble less.”
I could feel that she had started to feel better now.
I added — “But we have to ensure that we are careful about what is happening around us — any thing or any person whom we find suspicious, we should share that with our parents or teachers!
She agreed with a high five and forwarded her request to read her favourite Geronimo, this time “The seventh adventure in the kingdom of fantasy”. And even before two chapters are finished, she dozed off peacefully dreaming about Geronimo, the warrior manoeuvring his way to find the seven charms!
I looked at her and felt a little relieved thinking that to a certain extent I could alleviate her anxiety!
It is a difficult conversation talking to tender minds about violence, terrorism and war nevertheless it is very important. Though we have had given them exposure to mythologies and wars but it surely is difficult for them to comprehend terrorism!
Equally and extremely important is to speak about and emphasize the great work and sacrifices that our soldiers are doing day and night so that we can do what we want to do peacefully. A conversation which has to be delved in very carefully to avoid getting them into negativities and wrong biases and to make them feel secure!