Protecting our precious children

It has been a painful last few days, a period which has not only left the North of England numb with grief but has left an entire nation on edge.

Wednesday, 31st May 2017, 10:16 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:15 pm
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Since that darkest of nights last Monday, we have begun to get used to the sight of soldiers guarding our major public spaces and buildings.

Although we have been here before, this particular outrage has been harder to take because children were caught up at the very heart of it.

In the first few days after the attack, many people I spoke with appeared traumatised by what had happened.

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The wall-to-wall coverage of the aftermath has consumed many of us to the point that we run the risk of causing ourselves real problems at home.

In my view the biggest risk to our children is not cowardly madmen intent on mass murder but the accessibility of unfiltered information.

When I was growing up in the 1980s, if my parents wanted to avoid me being exposed to the harsh realities of life, they would make sure I was ushered out of the living room while Sandy Gall read out the headlines at 6pm.

Nowadays news is everywhere. My dad used to sit down at set times to consume his news but in this age of multi-tasking, we take in our information on the go.

I am as guilty as anyone when it comes to this, although I am slowly learning how to shield my kids from the dark side of life.

Since the morning of May 23, we have welcomed Radio 1 into our lives as part of the quest to protect our seven-year-old from the grim updates about the Manchester attacks. Music has done much to bring to lighten the mood both in our house and, I’d dare say, in homes across the country.

Attempting to explain why human beings do appalling things to one another is one of the aspects of parenting which many of us struggle with, largely because we have difficulty understanding it ourselves.

One of the biggest lessons we can learn from the horrors of last week is that our precious youngsters really do need to be protected from such outrages.