After my sons’ school was broken into they had lots of questions.
My kids are obsessed with robbers. It’s to the point where they are so paranoid they won’t sleep at night until they know I have locked the front door.
Normally I’m able to reassure them with a simple “don’t worry mummy and daddy are here and will keep you safe, they won’t get us” but yesterday they both rushed home from school to enthusiastically tell me their school had been broken into.
It was think their first real experience with a break in and it meant they were as equally fascinated as they were terrified.
They had a million thoughts rushing through their little minds.
“Why our school?”
“Why would they steal our stuff?”
“Will they come and get us at home?”
“Mum do all robbers have guns?”
I have no idea if the people who robbed the school had guns but my 5-year-old was convinced they must have.
It’s hard to reassure kids that these people probably didn’t want to hurt anyone when it was the first time they had been a part of this sort of incident, even as a third party, and they’d spent a day seeing the damaged office and classrooms.
Despite being obsessed with the idea of robbers it wasn't until now that they had felt the violation that is felt when someone comes uninvited into your safe space. Anyone who has ever had an item stolen will know the feeling well.
Eventually I'd answered all their questions, as best as I could, and I thought we'd covered the matter well. That was until it was bedtime.
"Mum, will you lie with me?"
"Mum, I'm scared."
"Mum, the robber is going to get us."
My five-year-old who normally falls asleep before I walk out of the room was wide eyed over half an hour later, petrified the robber would break into our house over night.
I ended up having to lie with them both until they fell asleep.
I thought that would be the end of it until 1am came around and I had two little boys scurry up to my room saying they had had nightmares.
So there we were, middle of the night, having the same conversation again.
Yes the doors are locked. No they won't get us. I'm here to keep you safe.
They eventually fell asleep but were restless all night.
As they went off to school today they were happy enough but I know their sheltered world has been changed forever. Robbers are no longer people they just hear about on TV or see in movies.
These horrible people exist and that sucks.
But that doesn't mean I won't do my best to continue to comfort my kids and assure them they are safe. That's my job and I won't let these people stop me from doing that.
Do your kids ask questions about robbers or about their personal safety? How do you handle them?
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