Are Your Children Understanding Today’s Chaotic World?
“If we want to reach real peace in this world, we should start educating children” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
With all the chaos going on in the world today, it is no wonder that most of us are fearful and anxious, especially the children. In times of community or world crisis for example, it could be a tornado that has demolished a community or a terrorist bombing targeted at a certain area of the world, we just assume that children are not aware of what is going on. Quite the contrary, children are very sensitive to the environment around them.
Children can pick up on vibes of how their parents are feeling; pick up on facial expressions and the tones in their parents’ voices. Children can sense when their parents are really worried about something, whether watching the news or talking with other people about a crisis that may be going on at any given moment.
Whether or not a child understands what a crisis is, it is an uneasy feeling to a child when they sense that their parents are worried.
During such times, be mindful of your reactions around your children about a particular crisis. By keeping open communication with your children, you can help them feel more at ease with what is going on.
Here are a few tips to help you with your children during a crisis…
* Be aware of what your children are watching on television. Limit their time watching television or monitor what they are watching.
* Instead of watching television, have a family game night. This makes for fun family time. It directs attention toward something positive and takes the focus away from the negativity of a crisis.
* Keep regular routines in the family. Children count on structure within the family structure.
* Maintain a calm manner. This will help keep your children feeling more secure within themselves.
* Give your children extra comfort. Perhaps create a story time with them by snuggling and reading them a story. This provides a little extra comfort for their inner security. It also creates a special bond between you and your child to know that there are simple things in life that help in good or bad times.
* Have a conversation with your children about what they think happened. They may have a misunderstanding of the situation from what they have heard from others. This is a good time to set the record straight, telling them the facts at hand of the crisis. Keeping open communication with your children is key to help them feel better informed.
* Tell your children to look for the helpers such as law enforcement, firemen, emergency medical technicians, volunteers, etc. You can ensure them that these are good, caring people who are doing what they can to help others.
* Let your children know that you will be donating money or your time by helping people in need. This helps children see that adults take on many different roles to help in the world and that you do not give into helplessness in times of crisis.
* Encourage your children to help out. With supervision, having your children help others can give them a sense of control, security and promote helping behavior. Following an emergency, children and adolescents can bring about positive change by supporting those in need.
By integrating these steps, you are creating a sense of security within the family structure.
Teaching your children to understand the true facts of the crisis and to help out where they can diverts them from looking at it from a negative approach with worry and angst.
By showing your children the example of taking a positive approach in helping others, you are helping them feel better and that they are doing good in the world.
When you encourage your children to help others, they feel honored and important – it helps them grow. They take their role very seriously and serve as role models in social situations. With that, they experience the positive feeling of being heard and taken seriously.
“Give your hands to serve and your hearts to love” ~ Mother Teresa
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