This is a very rough paraphrase of what they say next: “Isis is a group of people like that. It says it’s attacking France in retaliation for its part in bombing Isis strongholds in Iraq and Syria. Everyone’s talking about it because that’s what people do when they are shocked. It’s natural. The French government wants to keep people safe, so for a few days, it wants to encourage people to stay at home and not go to school or the library. Some people will claim that all Muslims are bad but of course that is not true. Everyone wants to remember the people who died, hence the minute’s silence, and perhaps to light a candle in their memory. But [note this comes at the end, after plenty of opportunity to absorb the facts about what’s happening], attacks like this are very rare. The terrorists want to frighten people into changing the way we live and the best way to fight them is to behave normally. That includes being frightened.”…a typical milquetoast Western value loathing ‘Guardian’ reader?
Someone whose first impulse on hearing of barbaric savagery is ‘Oooh, what did we do to provoke this’?
So, be accepting of fear: we all have to live with it. But encourage your children to develop a sense of proportion, to think about the nature of risk. More important, encourage them to think about what is being claimed, how they would argue against it, and what they think they could do to help resolve the problems as they understand them – and what the government could do too. Is bombing the answer? Is violence ever the answer? And then go for hugs, teddy and the Paddington DVD.I think violence and bombing will solve this issue a lot more decisively than hashtag campaigns, moral relativity and appeasement.