I wonder how the kids of the world feel?My kids are young adults, but I can see that they are just as scared as I am. Scared of what? Racism, Hate, Violence…the future. Scared of the future of the world globally and the future as it will be in our own communities and homes. How the world will be in the future is far more unpredictable to imagine than it ever was. Obviously, so many violent occurrences in a row spark a fear in all humans that makes us feel threatened and filled with less hope for the future of mankind. I can only imagine how a child is reacting to all this world chaos. My family deals with each new crazy event by discussing what has happened and then we share our feelings about it. Together, we form an empathetic resistance to the chaos. At the same time, this sharing strengthens our love and support for one another. We still have fear, but at least we never feel like we have to face it alone. Scary worldwide events have been happening since the beginning of mankind. Unfortunately, it’s human to have war, violence, and death in the world. Also, as much as we care to admit it, racism and hate do still exist everywhere. It’s easy to build up a tolerance to something that occurs routinely, but I think it’s essential to let ourselves feel it instead of denying what is really going on or by hiding from it. This is happening to real people like you and me and it’s important to never forget that. It may be a family member, friend or neighbor affected by these terrifying events. It could be any of us.
All of us are affected by terrifying world events.
As a child, I remember hearing about similar social issues in the news, among the adult conversations, and in school. Always I could come home and be reassured that I was safe. I tried to create this same place for my children and I hope they will for theirs.
What about the kids that don’t have a safe haven?
I like to think that when an adult notices a child that seems upset, discouraged, or is having a difficult time with current events, that this adult will find help for the child. No one should be left struggling when they are confused about all these crazy happenings, especially a child. Kids deserve and need age appropriate honesty and reassurance about what is going on around them, particularly if they are asking questions.It can be as simple as leading by example and displaying common values like compassion, empathy and kindness. Kids also need to be empowered with certain basic tools in order to overcome all the craziness in our world. Above all, contemporary kids need to know that they are loved. Every child needs to know that there is someone or some group of someones out there that love them and whom they can love back. They need to know that these people care about how they feel, will protect and keep them safe and will inspire them to be the change they want to see in the world. Tracy Bryan is a self-published author for kids aged 4-12. She writes whimsical picture books about coping skills, mental health and mindfulness. Tracy lives in Central Florida with her family and two dogs Jack and Rusty! To contact or learn more about Tracy, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org If you know a child that is having a difficult time with contemporary violence in the news, here are some tools to help them deal with their feelings:
- Talk it out and share your feelings with others. You may be feeling different emotions at different times. Sadness. Anger. Fear. Confusion. Even numbness — not feeling anything at all. These feelings are normal reactions to a tragedy or scary event. Don't be afraid to express how you feel and listen to others as they share their feelings with you. Your parents, friends, teachers, and others can help you and help them.
- Take care of yourself. Losing sleep, not eating, and worrying too much can make you sick. As much as possible, try to get enough sleep, eat right, exercise, and keep a normal routine. It may be hard to do, but it can keep you healthy and better able to handle a tough time.
- Take a TV break. Although it's natural to want to know what's happening, don't spend hours glued to the television set. Taking a break from watching what's going on in the world is OK. Read, play board games or go outside.
- Get creative and express yourself. Drawing pictures and writing letters can help you feel better. Maybe you'd like to send a letter or homemade card to rescue workers, doctors, and others who cared for people who were hurt. You also can start a journal and record your thoughts and feelings. You can share this with others or keep it to yourself.
- Be respectful of others. You may have heard certain countries, religions, or political causes blamed for terrorism and other scary events in the world. But it's important to remember that very few people believe in killing and hurting innocent people to make their point. Don't give in to prejudice by blaming a whole group or by disliking people just because of the country where they were born, the faith they practice, the way they dress, the color of their skin or for who they love.
- Help out and be with others. In times of tragedy, people find comfort in being together and supporting each other. Find ways to show you care and that the community is sticking together. Hold a friend's hand or give someone a hug. It will make you both feel a little better.