How do you explain terrorism to your kids?

Every morning, I watch the BBC news and eat my breakfast with my girls. They don't particularly want to watch the news so this encourages them to get ready for school and get going. Which is good.

Every so often a news story grabs them and they are drawn into it, Lola, my 9 year old makes a fart noise every time she hears the name Trump, which is the correct response, and usually there is giggling afterwards.

Heather (13yo) was horrified over Brexit as her school had all voted to remain.

But these terror attacks baffle them. They baffle me,  and the one in Nice really caught their attention as we had been on holiday there last year. Here is how I explained it to them,

'Bad people take advantage of vulnerable people, using religion or whatever motivates that person, to do horrible things. To the vulnerable person they absolutely believe in what they are doing. They think they are doing it for their God or because it is the right thing to do because they have been brainwashed (brief interlude, whilst I explain what brainwashed means) into believing it.'

I then go on to explain that we mustn't show fear to these bad people because if we do they have won.
The only thing we can do is try and help the vulnerable people before the bad people poison their minds with the terrible things they want them to do.

I explained to Heather that her age group were particularly vulnerable, as teenagers can feel very isolated and alone, and people will pray on that, and that it was important for her to talk to me or her friends or teachers if she feels that way.

I don't know if I have explained it well or effectively but I don't want to hide this from them, as I said if we fear it or shy away from it, they have won. In my view if we can educate our children the world may end up in a better place than where it is now.

My thoughts are with the families or all those effected by terror.


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