US government tells parents how to inform children of the apocalypse (Wiki Commons)

Parents in the US have been given a guide so they can tell their children about the forthcoming apocalypse.

According to Mayan prophecy, the world will end on Friday (21 December). This has been vehemently debunked by experts across the globe, with NASA and other Mayan specialists saying it is just the end of a calendar - the same as what happens in the Gregorian calendar on 31 December.

However, the official kids' portal for the US government, has issued guidelines on "how to talk to kids about the world ending in 2012 rumours".

The website says that doomsday rumours have been circulating for some time: "Many of these rumours involve the Mayan calendar ending in 2012, a comet causing catastrophic effects, a hidden planet sneaking up and colliding with us, and other various stories.

"Unfortunately, these rumours not only have adults frightened, but NASA has been receiving messages from kids, because they believe something bad is going to happen."

"Telling them not to worry is not going to help" says it is up to adults to reassure children the world will not end and that "nothing bad is going to happen".

It suggests taking their fears seriously: "Dismissing a fear with a quick 'don't be silly comment' or brushing it aside by telling them not to worry is not going to help. If your children express a fear, take time to sit down and discuss it.

"This sends the message that you are really listening and that your kids can always come to you and they will be taken seriously."

The websites says parents should educate themselves on the apocalypse and help their children research the topic.

Finally, it tells adults to "take the fear off their plate" by telling them they will research the End of Days and get back to them with their findings: "Make sure to check back with your child once you have researched the topic. Anticipate any questions he may have and plan your responses."

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