EgyptAir Hijack: Helping Kids Cope With Violent News

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The EgyptAir domestic flight MS181 from Alexandria to Cairo was hijacked on Tuesday morning, March 29, by a passenger. The hijacker was reportedly wearing suicide explosive belt and forced the Cairo-bound flight to land at Larnaca airport in Cyprus. After hue and cry that swept over the world for nearly five hours, the hijacker surrendered and passengers were evacuated safely from the stranded flight. According to the BBC, the hijacker was arrested and walked down the aircraft steps at Larnaca airport with hands raised. Cypriot Government Spokesman Nikos Christodulides tweeted, “No-one was injured in the hijacking.” Authorities said the explosive belt was a farce and the hijacker’s motives remain unclear. According to reports, the hijacker wanted to talk to his estranged wife living in the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. In addition, he wanted female prisoners in Egypt to be released. However, the Cypriot President said the incident was not terrorism-related, according to the BBC.Like us on Facebook Anxiety: 4 Tips To Help Your Child Handle It After the end of the situation, the world heaved a sigh of relief. Whether you or your loved ones are facing the tragedy or just witnessing it, news of hijacking, terrorism and war is distressing and painful. More challenging is to explain such violence to your children. Although difficult, it is high time children understand the world in which they live. When exposed to violent news in everyday life, many young children feel confused, upset and anxious, according to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Parents and teachers can create an open environment where children can ask questions and express their feelings about the news. Encourage them to release their emotions by drawing pictures, writing poems and stories related to current news. Cut down children’s time on TV and social media as they splash frightening images and disturbing scenes repeatedly. Ask them to go for outdoor activities, like play ball, ride bike or simply running. This would reduce their emotional difficulties related to stressful global scenario. Children often get preoccupied or much stressed about the news of war, hijacking or terrorism and tend to personalize the events. The stress and anxiety leads to symptoms such as sleeplessness, absent-mindedness, non-stop upsetting thoughts, erratic behavior, mood swings and intense fears about death. In times like these, children may need professional help, according to American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. The role of parents and teachers in stressful times like these should be supportive, consistent and reassuring. Avoid stereotyping race or religion, and teach your children tolerance and resilience. Photo Source: Wikimedia, Pixabay