HOW TO TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT TERRORISMTerror

Thomas Gagliano

Thomas Gagliano, SFYB, MSW Best-selling author of The Problem Was Me Life Mentor, Author & Speaker

With reports of terrorist activity making headlines everywhere and plastering our television, computer and phone screens, it is becoming more and more difficult to shield our children from the carnage and fear that is filtering into our cultural psyche.
How should we best handle the conversation with our children about the reality of terrorism without making them overly fearful?

 Tip Sheet

  •  Do not assume your child feels the same way you do. With limited life experience, your child does not have the experience or tools to process and understand the why or how of terrorist activity and motivation the way you do.
  • Ask the child how he feels. Listen and do not judge or deny his feelings, whatever they may be. Validate his feelings by acknowledging them, and let him know that they are normal. Make sure to share your feelings honestly, as well.
  •  It’s not what you say, but what you don’t say. The worst thing to do is to confuse the child by saying one thing and doing another. To say that you are not afraid but then change your patterns and not got to the movies, say, or avoid large venues like Soldier’s Field would send a conflicting and confusing message that would actually cause the child to be more fearful.
  • You are not doing your child any favors by protecting him from dealing with life on life’s terms. However, only expose your child to as much gory detail as is necessary. Try and keep young children up to at least 13 away from any media that would depict those details, if at all possible. However, if your child has seen or heard reports of suicide bombers or gruesome beheadings, do not deny that those things are real. Always tell the truth so you establish a firm trust with your child.
  • Teach your child to be cautious and aware of his surroundings, but don’t stop living your life and doing the things you want to do. Assure your child that you and the other authorities in his life- teachers, principals, police- are all aware of the situation and doing their best to protect them.
  • Gratitude- Emphasize how thankful we are to be living in a country that is relatively safe compared to other areas in the world and reiterate that the chances of being affected directly by terrorist activity is very slim.
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Thomas Gagliano
Tom holds a Master’s degree in social work, bachelor’s degree in business, and a C-MAT certificate. As a young man, Tom became a successful entrepreneur with a proven track record in small business ventures in the greater New York area. About 20 years ago, Tom started to spend less time in the business world and more time helping those who suffered, as he did, from negative childhood messages. “I believe that experience and expertise go hand in hand”.

He is a regular on many radio networks and on the TBN television network, and has appeared on other networks as well and the best selling author of “The Problem Was Me”, with Dr. Abraham Twerski, and “Don’t Put Your Crap in Your Kid’s Diaper”, the clean up cost can last a lifetime. My expertise is teaching a methodology which has helped many individuals, couples and parents build healthier relationships with themselves and each other.”

My experience, overcoming my own issues, revealed the process for self- improvement. These issues began in childhood when I turned to bullying as an outlet; and as an adult, towards addiction. I sabotaged the intimate relationships in my life. I then realized I had to fix the damage within me in order to fix the damage I caused in my relationships.

He is a regular on many radio networks and on the TBN television network, and has appeared on other networks as well and the best selling author of “The Problem Was Me”, with Dr. Abraham Twerski, and “Don’t Put Your Crap in Your Kid’s Diaper”, the clean up cost can last a lifetime.
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