Dealing with a burglary to your property is a terrible thing at the best of times, however it can be even more traumatic if you have small children to explain to.
Recently a neighbour of ours was broken into – I say broken in the slackest of terms, as the door was open and the criminal walked in a took what they wanted.
With 5 children at home, the eldest child was sent to the cash point to withdraw some money to pay for the families’ regular weekly takeaway. However, the 12-year-old boy didn’t realise that a regular know drug user in the area was watching him.
The drug user proceeded to follow the boy back to his home, and spotted that he didn’t lock the door behind him. The criminal made his move, and entered the property, taking a wallet and a number of items in the hallway – all whilst the family were in the next room eating takeaway food.
Obviously, the items taken are easily replaced in this situation, however the children at the time were left anxious to go outside, and the boy whom was followed was afraid to go across the road to the shop.
According to most experts, the best way to deal with situations like this is to get back to normal as soon as possible to avoid upsetting the children further. Quickly selling your property for cash and moving home is probably not a wise decision, as it could further damage your children’s emotional well-being.
A better solution is to try making your home more secure, and invest in CCTV or other forms of security to show you children they are safe in the comfort of their own home.
How a child copes.
Children react differently to adults when it comes to acts of criminal behaviour. They don’t fully understand that the chances are it was a one off and the burglar is never likely to come back and cross paths with them again.
However, in the eyes of a child, they may believe its highly likely that the person could come back. In the same way, a child creates imaginary monsters and has vivid dreams about scary things – they can in some circumstances create a ‘monster’ in their head that is the burglar.
Reassurance is vital in these circumstances, and if all fails it may be advisable to seek professional guidance from a child psychologist.
Further advice for parents.
Always remember to remain rational, and reassure your children at all times they are safe. Whatever it takes you have to protect your family, and the emotional wellbeing of your children.
Getting a good dog that will bark at the site of an intruder can also help children to feel safe. Another way is to ask for further police support in your local area, and to have a regular visit from an officer so your child knows they are doing something about it.