Children Observe Parents Carefully for Signposts About Our World
Children take the business of growing up seriously these days.
Faced with the restrictions of COVID resulting in limited social contacts, they may often feel unheard and alone.
They hear about vaccinations coming, but they’re hardly first on the list. Neither are their parents. And their grandparents keep waiting for more vaccines to arrive at their pharmacy.
All this waiting and waiting comes now with confusing discussions persisting about the presidential election.
Children are observant.
They see fears in their parents’ eyes surrounding the impending inauguration.
Loving parents limit their kids watching of the news, but the kids watch this vigilance of their parents and wonder what’s on their minds.
How as parents do we make sure they still live in their own childhood, without adult matters pressing too closely on their minds?
Explain briefly depending on the age of your child if you are worried about the inauguration rather than leaving it to their vivid imaginations.
- Be clear about its importance and factual about words they hear, like “the transition of power.”
- If they watch the news, even if they are teens, watch with them answering questions and limiting the amount of time.
- The news can be quite repetitious if you tend to go from channel to channel. Do not do this with your children.
- If they have a phone or an iPod they may get news flashes. Be with them when that happens if you can. Definitely explain the words they see and hear like “siege” and “insurrection” and “impeachment.”
- Help kids be kids by parents being the steady knowledgeable adults who care for them at any age.
- Caring means explaining and answering questions, but it also means distracting. Make sure each and every day your kids have fun.
- Kids like when parents want to learn their video games, read their chapter books with them, and go on walks through the snow.
- If you live in the snow belt, get some snowshoes for everyone in the family and all together go on hikes. Remember sledding can be done with masks on and even social distancing so it’s a must.
Be more available than ever before. We debate quality and quantity of working parents time with their kids, but you cannot plan for when the questions pop up or even the tears. You want to be there.
The “New Normal”
Kids know they are living in a “new normal” so don’t deny it, face it with them bit by bit.
Silence about changes around them only makes things worse. Then kids feel isolated in the interior of their growing minds.
As parents we have an important responsibility to give our kids the feeling of true safety and security. Each family’s circumstances may be somewhat different but there’s no child immune from the confusions and complexities of their environment this week.