I am extremely concerned about how the current atmosphere in our country is affecting our children. I can say for sure that what happened with the AWB & ANC, is really affecting my son in more ways than one. He is scared and asking a lot of questions. Questions I find incredibly difficult to answer. He is now 8 years old and in Grade 2.
The questions he is asking are:
1 . Mommy, why are the whites cross with the blacks?
2. Is there going to be a war, mommy?
3. Mommy, I do not want to die in the war, how can we make things right between the people?
He has a black friend who he loves so much and talks about a lot. We have also met him and his parents and my son can’t understand why white people are now cross with black people.
It is very difficult not to watch the news or listen to the radio when he is not present. The headlines in the newspapers and on the lamp posts upset him. Every night when he gets home, he will ask anxiously what is happening and he hears stories from kids at the aftercare center. They say things like “ the blacks are going to kill the whites”. He then gets very scared and upset because he does not want anyone to kill him, us or his black friend.
Since this thing happened last weekend, he sees color. He never referred to anyone as a black man or white woman, no, he referred to them as a woman, man or person.
I do not know how to answer all his questions and would very much appreciate some help. Does anyone have some ideas about how one can explain to children what is going on?