Reducing Election Anxiety in American Families
During turbulent times, a national election stirs anxiety due to intense preoccupation about the health and welfare of all the people in our nation—adults and children.
To allay this anxiety in adults taking active steps to participate in the election reduces a sense of helplessness held by individuals facing the spiraling of COVID 19 and economic uncertainty.
It is the particular choices of action that must be considered judiciously.
Clearly one option is to gain a great deal of knowledge about the emotional stability and points of view of the candidates. Knowledge is empowering. Conflicting reports can make this difficult yet not impossible to help with decision making.
The other clear choice is to VOTE with this knowledge informing your decision. Then to patiently wait days after November 3rd to get the most accurate results.
It is imperative to think for yourself of course, not to feel intimidated by the more impulsive actions of others that may unexpectedly lead to aggressive inclinations we witness on the news that interfere with peaceful voting including posting your ballot and travel to voting places or political rallies.
All the while it is of utmost importance that those of voting age make sound decisions in order to protect the younger generation that will be most affected in the long run.
Uncertainty Breeds Anxiety
In many families conflicts abound about who to vote for increasing the level of anxiety in children who see their parents are not on the same page.
Children feel their futures are uncertain in these households because they depend on their mothers and fathers stability for their own sense of security.
Anxious parents unwittingly raise the anxiety of their children who are already struggling with the uncertainty about school choices (in school or virtual online education), how effective COVID testing is and for how long results can be trusted before the next test is needed.
How Can Parents Reduce Uncertainty for Their Children?
- Have open ended discussions with your children answering all their questions without judgment about their queries, knowledge, or lack of it.
- If kids at any age watch the news or go online to get information listen and read with them to clarify conflicting data.
- Share with children the value of voting as a responsible citizen.
- Look up accurate information with your children about climate change, education, and sound health.
- As adults who understand the financial stability of your particular family choose wisely what is appropriate for young ears to hear without being overwhelmed so they can trust their parents ability to make them economically secure.
- Share with your kids that knowledge is power, not aggression.
- Discuss the importance of the freedom of speech by demonstrating this value in your home inviting opinions of all family members even if they differ.
- Praise the patience of children adjusting to changes in society and model such toleration of frustration as adults.
- Explain to kids with language appropriate to their age how and why uncertainty and doubt breed anxiety in many people, but in your household, you will work together to maintain daily life in an atmosphere of giving and sharing feelings in words, no matter what those words may be.
FAMILIES THAT OPENLY TALK WITH EACH OTHER WITHOUT JUDGING OTHERS IDEAS, QUESTIONS, AND VALUES AT ANY AGE WILL BE CONSIDERABLY LESS ANXIOUS THIS WEEK AND IN THE WEEKS TO COME.