Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Amanda Lamb: Talking terror

Posted January 11, 2015

In the old days, we could insulate our children from the news by simply not allowing them to watch it. But now the news comes to their phones and their computers.

Usually, when I bring something up that’s happening in the world, I get an eye roll followed by: “Mom, I saw that like three hours ago on Instagram.”

Given this immediacy, when it comes to major world events, I think we need to discuss them with our children sooner rather than later and try to put them into context in an age-appropriate way. To be honest, as a journalist, I have been doing this for most of my children’s lives out of sheer necessity because they are very aware of what I do. But I also understand that it's not something that’s comfortable for everyone.

“Why?” my 11-and-a-half-year-old asked as we talked about the terror attacks in Paris. As a French student and a lover of all things Parisian, the events are rooted in very real and frightening images for her.

It wasn’t an easy question. I tried to explain that people from different cultures, different religions, and different ideologies often clashed, and sometimes these clashes prompted people, especially unstable people, to do hateful things. I also explained why I thought the magazine and the grocery store were specific targets in this situation. She listened intently and was quiet for a moment.

“But I still don’t understand why people have to kill each other,” she said shaking her head.

“I don’t either,” I replied honestly, thinking how it would probably be a much more peaceful world if kids were in charge.

She also wanted to know whether someone would hack into our television records and target us if we rented “The Interview” on pay-per-view. So, avoiding these topics is clearly not an option in this day and age when information flies into our electronic devices like cars at rush hour on I-95 whether we want it or not.

But it’s also important to realize that these issues weigh heavily on young minds and, when you’re done with the serious stuff, take the opportunity to steer the conversation in a lighter direction.

“So, what’s the latest on Bieber. Any bad behavior recently?”

Now, it’s her turn to talk …

Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some one motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.


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  • snowl Jan 12, 2015

    This world needs more female leaders. I'm not sure if this will happen in my life time.

  • johnnymanziel Jan 12, 2015

    View quoted thread

    Hey now, this blog is meant to be family friendly You can't talk about dangling participles around here.

  • Huey Jan 12, 2015

    For Pete's sake, what is with you people? Amanda is professional and always has been; but she is a mom first and this item is about being a mom and dealing with kids on a hard subject.

  • raleighboy524 Jan 12, 2015

    I'm signing off now. WRAL is censoring my posts.

  • LoriBelle Jan 12, 2015

    View quoted thread

    No, this area is meant to be used as a conversation, NOT rocket science. These are parents talking about their lives and, in most cases, children. Hence, "Go Ask Mom." It's a conversation. It doesn't matter what they do in their professional life.

  • LoriBelle Jan 12, 2015

    As a mom who had to deal with 9/11 with a middle schooler, it can be very hard to discuss such things with our children. You're doing/saying what you think is on your girl's levels and understanding. It's all any parent can do.

  • raleighboy524 Jan 12, 2015

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    "This submission is not meant to be written in proper English."


    I would hope a professional writer always would use proper grammar.

    By the way, I spent 35 years as a grammar policeman, so cut me some slack.

  • LoriBelle Jan 12, 2015

    View quoted thread

    Ummm sorry, but there are many who are doing their best to put the Christian religion into government. Many have already succeeded. There are fanatics in every religion/government.

  • LoriBelle Jan 12, 2015

    View quoted thread

    Who died and made you the grammar police? This submission is not meant to be written in proper English. It's how we normal humans speak. Seriously, is that all you have??

  • raleighboy524 Jan 12, 2015

    "As a French student and a lover of all things Parisian, the events are rooted in very real and frightening images for her."

    WRAL meet English: The above sentence is a dangling participle..................