Current Events: Helping Your Children Cope
A cursory glance at the news shows us that our nation is troubled. Images of violence, anger and fear are plastered over our televisions and social media pages. To be honest, my husband and I have had a hard time absorbing it all. We’ve cried. We’ve found ourselves almost in a state of shock watching the current events unfolding in our nation. We’ve prayed a lot for those who are hurting and grieving. We’ve had hour long discussions trying to make sense of it all. Meanwhile, in the backdrop of these conversations that we are having are our children, whom we have intentionally shielded from some of the most recent events. Like many of you, we are pondering, “what do we tell our children and how much of the news do we expose them to?”
For us, keeping our children from seeing disturbing images on t.v. is relatively easy, because we rarely watch it. My husband and I watch the morning news most days before our children get up. Our children have never watched the local or national news. The most “news” they get is via the radio. Our 11 year old is the only one of our three children that has inquired about what she has heard. We are honest with her without giving too many details, as she is our child that is very easily made anxious and fearful. Along with this, our oldest child does not have access to the internet via the electronic devices that she has (tablet and video games.) The last thing we would want is for her to be playing a game or reading a book on her tablet and innocently stumble across a website, blog post or ANY image that would frighten or traumatize her. This may seem a bit radical for some, but we see no need of exposing our children to things they are not mentally or spiritually able to handle. As parents, you must know how much is appropriate to share with your children. Every child will be different. Be honest while also being as discreet as needed.
If you are struggling with how to answer your children’s questions about current events, or if you’re not sure if you should even broach the subject with them, now would be a great time to pray and ask God for help. If you have friends who are parents, now may be the time to get advice from them. We are living in a time where society seems to be growing increasingly hostile. As Christian parents, we must root our children in the word of God, show them how to be compassionate and loving towards others, even their enemies and equip them with the necessary tools to be able to reason and think logically. Talk to your children as much as needed and be even more willing to listen to their concerns and fears. Assure them that through it all, God is in control of all things and they can trust Him no matter what they see going on around them.
We pray that the peace of our Lord rests on you and your children today.
Rodney & Sherry