Should We Teach Our Kids What to Do if There is a Terrorist Attack?
Last night I took my daughter to a concert in town, it was a children’s show and we were looking forward to the simple joy of being taken away into a world of magic and happiness.
We entered into the spirit of the occasion and tizzied ourselves up with a bit of make-up and ribbon in our hair and collecting my daughter’s friends we headed out to the venue. It all looked so innocent, all those little girls dressed as princesses and mums with prams and excited toddlers. I waited in line with the other mums as it slowly snaked its way into the venue.
When we came to the end of the line is when the fear struck me.
The reason that the line moved so slowly was the security. There were security staff at the doors checking everyone’s bags, searching coats and waving a scanner over all the people, including children that came into the venue.
That’s what hit me, it is there to keep us safe, that means that they think that we might not otherwise be safe! That means that they suspect that someone could come into a venue where children are watching magic on the stage and imagining themselves as princesses and deliberately try to hurt them, to terrorize them.
That means that this is now the world we live in.
That is desperately sad.
It also made me feel a bit conflicted, should I make plans in case something happens? Should I tell the girls what to do if something happens? Should I point out the danger, remote as it was? Do I let my fear make them scared?
I noted the exits, the bathrooms, the entrances to the corporate boxes where a door might be able to be locked and safety might be sought. I pointed the exits out to the kids, “Those exit signs are really bright aren’t they?”, drawing attention to them without alarming the kids.
I did the things that I do every time we go anywhere, I took a photo of the girls and posted it up on FB ”look at us having fun” Usually it’s just so that if one of the kids goes missing I can remember what they were wearing and have a photo handy, it can save valuable time when your child accidently wanders off or goes missing, ‘have you seen this child” it has always seemed a sensible precaution. But this time it felt more serious, like I was planning, hoping that if anything should happen that people would know where we were, what we were last seen wearing, that we were together.
I also always make sure that the kids know my phone number, dads phone number and I write it on them in case they get upset and can’t remember or if for some reason that they can’t talk. I also choose a spot and tell them, if we get separated for any reason, let’s meet here. This time I also made the girls all turn off their mobile phones “so it doesn’t ring or vibrate during the show”
I didn’t let the girls know that any of this fear was going through my head, they seemed to just accept the extra security and one of my daughter’s friends even said, ‘That’s because of London” but seemed to find it more exciting than anything else.
I didn’t tell them what to do if there was an attack, if someone started shooting or threatening, I just made quiet plans in my head.
Part of me was feeling a bit silly, thinking that we are in Adelaide, in Australia, in a small entertainment center at a children’s show, why was I even thinking that there was the slight possibility of anything remotely happening?
And still, there was that extra security.
And still, I doubt that those kids lining up for the concert in Manchester thought about people wanting to harm them. Why would they?
I try to shield my kids from the news, but they are hearing about it everywhere, you can’t hide it, you can’t ignore it. It seems to be what their world is now.
Happily, my daughter and her friends enjoyed a wonderful show, a show that had the main message that love is powerful, love is strong and everlasting and love can conquer all.
I am not going to keep my family home out of fear, not when there are still places that I can go where the message of love is stronger than the threat of hate. And still, I will look for the exits and take photos of myself and the children, we are together and we are ok.
Do you let your fear stop you from going out? Do you make plans?
Am I going mad, or am I being sensible?
Should we teach our children what to do if there is a terrorist attack?