"Supporting and empowering families to combat radicalisation"
It is not easy to be a parent these days. We love our children and we willingly sacrifice our time, energy and money for their well being and safety. But even with the best intentions many parents can feel quite overwhelmed by all the external forces faced by children in today's society and in particular, children can be most challenging as they enter their adolescence years. This is a time when young people begin to assert their independence and find their own identity and many experience behavioural changes that can often seem confusing and unpredictable to parents.
Therefore maintaining a positive relationship can sometimes be difficult as children grow and develop and seek something different from their own family.
Despite being in the headlines on a regular basis, many parents still struggle to fully understand what radicalisation is, the effects it has on their children and how to prevent and deal with it in the best way. Some parents wonder if their worries are justified or if their child’s behaviour is really a concern. It is important to be able to trust somebody in a safe, confidential environment in order to air your worries and work through the issues you may be facing. That’s why Families For Life is here to listen. We know first hand the wave of emotions parents often experience from fear, shame, and despair. Contacting Families for Life can be the first step in getting the help or reassurance you need.
If someone is exhibiting one or more potential signs it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are definitely being subjected to radicalisation. However, it is important to use and respond to your natural instinct as a parent – Do not be complacent. If you feel that something has changed such as secretive behaviour act on this instinct to find out what has changed and why.
So what can parents do?