Challenge 9 – Inspired by recent events it is simply this. Love and look after each other.

Your challenge this week: to hold your family close and be fearless in the face of the heinous acts of terrorism that have been wrought upon innocent men, women and children in our own and so many other beautiful countries across the world. Love transcends fear and hate so choose love over everything, especially during challenging times when anger and despair feel like the only things left to feel.

This challenge encourages the following values: Kindness, Courage, Resilience, Responsibility, Gratitude, Generosity, Resourcefulness, Compassion, Optimism, Patience, Commitment, Serenity

What you need to complete your challenge this week:

  • the courage and determination to live fully in a world where our peace is threatened.
  • to communicate with your children who need to feel safe in a world which is compromising their innocence and forcing them to face a reality they are too young to understand.

If all else fails…. there is no fail, we all have the capacity to love, protect and inform!

Food for thought for grown-ups:

I think it has come with some shock to all of us that we could again be targeted by such evil over the last few weeks.  It is almost impossible not to be touched by the gravity and severity of the pain so many innocent families have been put through. You only have to have special people in your life to feel tinges of fear that this could happen to any of us at any time. Staying locked up in our homes is obviously not an option but it is with trepidation that we allow our children to venture out into the world, (as they so rightly deserve to), to explore and learn for themselves the experiences and beauty to be enjoyed.  The only way forward surely is to lead by example, to show only a healthy level of fear and to be age-appropriately honest with our children.  We need to show kindness and solidarity with those around us who are suffering.  We need to demonstrate courage where it might be easier to be fearful. We need to be resilient and recover after every incident with renewed strength.  We need to show our children what it is to be a responsible inhabitant of this planet so that they can be better informed when they see and hear about the evil acts affecting countries all over the world.  We need to remind ourselves to be grateful. Grateful for our freedoms, grateful for the people who love us, grateful for the lives we are so fortunate to be living and grateful for the public services out there working tirelessly to keep us safe. Be generous with your love, your love is what gives your children a feeling of safety and security.  We need to stay optimistic even when these atrocities unfold because we all know first hand that it’s easy to slip into shock and anger over the senselessness of the attacks.  We need to be patient with our children, we need to talk to them and make sure that what we tell them is sensitively thought out, suitable for their level of understanding.  If you aren’t sure check out the BBC’s advice here.  Finally, we need to commit ourselves and demonstrate that commitment to our children to live our lives every day as normally as we can and not let the threat of terrorism hamper our ability to enjoy life.

And for the children:

Simply this. Love your children unconditionally, be honest with them and provide them with security, understanding, knowledge and patience. Acknowledge and validate their fears. 

So go for it…. It is very hard to predict what questions your children might ask you about these and any future terrorist attacks but their level of reassurance will be measured by your reaction to their questions. Think about how you can provide them with the information and security that they need to grow and develop into decent citizens who can go about their lives informed, educated, and with courage.

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