There is always something major going on in the world, in our country, and in your kid’s lives. As parents, we attempt to do what we can to shelter our kids from the ugliness in the world and show them unconditional love and support. 2020 has challenged everything we know as parents, by causing an extreme shift in our daily lives. With COVID-19 pandemic forcing us all inside and changing the way we interact and look at each other, to worldwide race riots and cops becoming the bad guys, you, like most parents, may be feeling a little lost in how to discuss these things with your children.
It is true, we don’t want to thrust the horrors of the world on our children, shattering their tender innocence and allowing them to see the darkness the world has to offer any sooner than is necessary. However, children are perceptive and smart. They see a lot more than most adults give them credit for, and they are capable of understanding deep things. Fear is learned, ignorance is unlearned. Join us in today’s post as we offer just a few tips on how to discuss big issues with your children.
There are times when fibbing to your children for the sake of offering them a sweet childhood is okay — Santa Clause, unicorns, etc. World issues do not apply here. It is okay to be vague and explain things in age-appropriate terms, but be honest about what is happening. If they don’t hear it from you, they will learn it somewhere, so it is better to give them accurate information and answer their questions as best you can before someone else does (the same applies to discussing puberty and where babies come from, but we’ll save that for a later post). It’s perfectly okay to explain that the world has changed because a lot of people are getting sick and we don’t want to get sick or get others sick without knowing it. This will also help prevent them from thinking they are being punished by not being able to go to the park or see their friends.
Use it as a Family Values Discussion
World issues are the perfect thing to bring up at the dinner table and use as real-world teaching moments. This allows you to discuss family values and show your children what is right and what is wrong and allow them to come to their own conclusions. While it is not appropriate to show your children Mr. Floyd’s video, discussing that “a police officer hurt a man because of the color of his skin,” allows your children to think about the situation and ask you the questions they have. This gives you the opportunity to discuss many different aspects. Just be sure that you are allowing your children the time to process the information without throwing too much at them at once.
Follow Up and Ask Their Take
Discussing world topics with your kids shouldn’t be a one-sided conversation, but it may also take some time to get your child’s input. That’s okay and very normal. Your kids will need some time to process and reflect the new information and put in in context of their own world and what they know. It is important to allow your discussions to marinate before following up with them. Following up will allow you to assess whether or not your child understands what is going on and address any lingering questions they may have.
At Darlene’s Wee Care 4 Kids, we know that parenting is a challenging job and you may not always have the answers. Our staff is here to collaborate with parents and help address any concerns they may have. If you are wondering how to talk to your kids about difficult subjects, our teachers would be happy to share some tips. For reliable childcare in Upper Darby, contact us today.