In the aftermath of the bombing in Boston, I have heard several radio and TV personalities worrying about the effects on their children. And the words that they bandy about are things like:
“This is such a scary world for kids to grow up in.”
“I hate that my kids have to grow up in a world that is so dangerous with so much bad happening all the time.”
“What do we tell our kids about all the evil people out there hurting innocent people?”
For me, I do NOT want our kids to grow up in fear, and I do NOT want them feeling like the world is scary and dangerous. That especially goes for young children who lack the cognitive ability to process through events like Boston.
Throughout our history, there have always been tragedies and losses for kids to work through. Many kids lost mothers in childbirth, parents to diseases or death from the elements or wild animals. There have always been wars and it’s casualties. Epidemics prior to antibiotics and modern medicine have killed thousands of children and parents.
Have discussions with kids about issues like terrorism who are old enough and mature enough to have them. Younger kids should be shielded from them, and especially the horrible images that constantly flash across TV screens 24/7.
Focus on gratitude for what you have; appreciate the people and circumstances you live in. Talk to kids about living each day to the fullest. And encourage kids to take action or be of service to victims of tragedies. That to me is a much healthier focus than what I am hearing over the airwaves.