Sunday, 16th May 2021

How to explain to your children that the world has gone to hell

EVERYTHING is bad again and looks unlikely to improve anytime soon. If your inquisitive little darlings are asking if this is the apocalypse, here’s how to explain it: 

Use analogies

Children have very little understanding of anything outside of their immediate bubble, so to get through to them compare the complex geopolitical landscape to something they’re familiar with, eg ’Boris Johnson is like Olaf from Frozen, in that we all wish he’d f**k off’.

Make it into a game

Stockpiling and sheltering from a virus doesn’t have to be a miserable affair. With a little imagination, you can convince your offspring that it’s an elaborate game and whoever wins gets to live.

Don’t use long words

‘Global coronavirus pandemic’ is a mouthful for for most of us, let alone for someone who’s struggling with their six times table. Try ‘big cold’ or ‘scary bat cough’, acting it out if necessary.

Avoid overcomplicating

While it wouldn’t fly in adult circles, there really is nothing stopping you from portraying everyone you don’t agree with as an evil baddie, and your favourite Guardian columnist as a beautiful princess. It’s one of the perks of parenthood.

Stay optimistic

Above all, everything you tell your children should be delivered in a maddeningly happy tone. Or if they haven’t registered sarcasm yet, go all out. ‘Yes, the threat of being laid off and dying really is wonderful.’