Your Children and the News

With everything going on in the news today, it can be frightening for young people. Here are a few tips to help your child understand/navigate the news.

Find Out What Your Child Already Knows

    Ask your kids questions to see if they know about a current event. For school-age kids and teens, you can ask what they have heard at school or on social media.

    Consider your child’s age and development. Younger kids may not grasp the difference between fact and fantasy. Most kids realize the news is real by the time they are 7 or 8 years old.

    Follow your child’s lead. If your child doesn’t seem interested in an event or doesn’t want to talk about it at the moment, don’t push.

Answer Questions Honestly and Briefly

    Tell the truth, but share only as much as your child needs to know. Try to calm any fears and help kids feel safe. Don’t offer more details than your child is interested in.

    Listen carefully. For some kids, hearing about an upsetting event or natural disaster might make them worry, “Could I be next? Could that happen to me?” Older kids may have lots of questions. Focus on what your kids ask so you can help them cope with their fears. An adult’s willingness to listen sends a powerful message.

    It’s OK to say you don’t know the answer. If your child asks a question that stumps you, say you’ll find out. Or use age-appropriate websites to spend time together looking for an answer.

Help Kids Feel in Control

    Encourage your child to talk. If your child is afraid about what’s going on, ask about it. Even when kids can’t control an event — like a natural disaster — it can help them to share their fears with you.

    Urge teens to look beyond a news story. Ask why they think an outlet featured a frightening or disturbing story. Was it to boost ratings and clicks or because the story was truly newsworthy? In this way, a scary story can be turned into a discussion about the role and mission of the news.

    Teach your children to be prepared, not panicked. For example, if the news is about a natural disaster, make a family plan for what you might do. If an illness is spreading, talk about ways to protect yourself and others.

    Talk about what you can do to help. After a tragic event, finding ways to help can give kids a sense of control. Look for news stories that highlight what other people are doing.

    Put news stories in context. Broaden the discussion from a specific news item about a difficult event to a larger conversation. Use it as a way to talk about helping, cooperation, and the ways that people cope with hardship.

Limit Exposure to the News

    Decide what and how much news is appropriate for your child. Think about how old your kids are and how mature they are. Encourage them to take breaks from following the news, especially when the topics are difficult.

    Keep tabs on the amount of difficult news your child hears. Notice how often you discuss the news in front of your kids. Turn off the TV so the news is not playing in the background all day.

    Set limits. It’s OK to tell your kids that you don’t want them to have constant exposure and to set ground rules on device and social media use.

    Watch the news with your child and talk about it. Turn off a story if you think it’s not appropriate for your child.

Keep the Conversation Going

    Talk about current events with your child often. Help kids think through stories they hear – good and bad. Ask questions like: “What do you think about these events?” or “How do you think these things happen?” With these types of questions, you can encourage conversation about non-news topics.

    Watch for stress. If your child shows changes in behavior (such as not sleeping or eating, not wanting to be around people, or worrying all the time), call your child’s doctor or a behavioral health care provider. They can help your child manage anxiety and feel better able to cope

The Garbage Can Rolled In Front of #theBus

We all have had moments when we wanted something better,

The Garbage Can Family

I won’t be long with this story for the hour is late and I’m not sure where I’m going with this story, I’m so filled with many emotions, fear, guilt, shame, sadness, anger, jealousy and resentment. There once was old lady who live in a shoe she had so many children she didn’t know what to do.  She loved some and disliked others; she would compare her family to other “great” families both near and far.  Her family like most families in the neighborhood had their fair share of problems, cheating husbands, drug addiction, alcoholism, child abuse, lack of education, love and the inability to love.  She wanted something better for herself and I suppose her children – what I think she wanted were trophy’s something tangible that validated who she was and her desire for “something better” that would also give her background meaning and purpose.Garbage at the bus stop

We all have had moments when we wanted something better, something more, just one more dollar, a better car, a better job or suit/dress to wear to that “better” job.  I ask you to examine yourselves today are you looking for “something better” or “just one more”?  There was a woman who cried out saying, “my husband is dead, and you know the creditor is coming to take my son to be his slave.” So, someone said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Nothing is in the house but a jar of oil.”  He said, “Go, borrow jars from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty jars; do not gather just a few, and when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.”  The woman did as she was told, and she poured, and she poured, and she poured, and jars kept coming from out of nowhere.  Her faith in the person that God used to get her through the tough times was beyond belief.  There will come a time when we must all find the strength not in the comfort of those we know but in that “stranger” that God has sent to help us along the way.

We must ask ourselves what has God given us to help our family, is it our funding, jars of oil, extra garbage bag linings for what we have deemed as “the trash” of our family because they don’t mirror the folks around the corner or the ones in the next town over or even the family on your favorite sit-com, or perhaps all we have to distribute equally and evenly is our love for each one of our family members and then watch our ROI increase…