“Mom, what’s going on?”….3 Ways to Help Our Children Through Difficult Times
By Guest Blogger : Makesha Dixon
In today’s society, there is so much going on. From the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East, to the recent viral outbreak scares, to injustices in our own backyard, there is so much to be worried about. And the biggest concern is the impact that it has on our children. How do we explain the state of society to our children? How do we calm their minds? How do we reassure them that all will be well, or at least well enough? While there is no definite solution to these questions, there are some ways we can help to ease the fears and find some comfort in the midst of life’s challenges.
Yes, being honest with our kids is a first and absolute priority in helping to calm their fears. And while, I’m not saying that every ugly detail is necessary, a certain level of honesty is needed. With social media, internet, and television, the truths (or at least varied perspectives of the truth) are available to our children at the click of a mouse. So instead of allowing them to be informed by social media, speak honestly and openly with children about current events. Allow them to discuss what they have seen, or heard and allow for them to give feedback. And as you are discussing with them, give them the reassurance they need,while being honest. An open line of communication provides a greater sense of understanding which in turns helps them to not feel alone in their thoughts.
Our kids look to us for not only guidance, but protection. And as parents, it is our job to reassure our children that despite the challenges that exist in our society, they can always know that we will be here to provide protection and guidance. Children should know that if something bad happens that our jobs as parents are to ensure their safety. Let them know they can come to us if they have questions, or feel afraid, or just need a hug. And as our children get older, it is our job to ensure that they build a sense of independence and reassurance within themselves. Our job is to build our children to be strong, well-adjusted and independent individuals and always give them the support and guidance from us as parents.
Honesty is necessary and reassurance is a given, but being positive takes an extra effort sometimes. Negativity is highlighted so much in mainstream that it becomes quite difficult to keep a positive outlook often as adults. And to attempt to have an open dialogue with children and provide asense of calm is challenging if we lack this ourselves. It is so important for us to remain positive as adults. This means finding ways to reduce stress, tensions, and negative energies within ourselves and the environments surrounding us. If we have positive energy around us, it will be much easier to relay this mindset to our children. Children are very good at sensing when we are not being forthright. So, if we want to be honest and reassuring to them, we must keep our spirits positive!