Hi Family.. How are you doing? It's been a tough week. America is in crises. A state of emergency. Black lives are at stake (as always) and everyone is tired.
We have reached a critical point in our nation this year, from the coronavirus to the recent fatal attacks on members of our community. Where do we go from here? We are all emotionally and physically drained.
What about the kids? They see everything. They feel it. They feel our anxieties, worries, stresses. How do we explain things to them?
Zoe and I had a long talk about everything. We talked about the injustices. We talked about George Floyd, Breona Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, the sensless acts of violence that have become one too many. She had a lot of feelings about the current climate - she had fears, worries and expressed different emotions. As parents we have to face these head on. Here are a few things I am sharing from my heart today as some actionable steps we are taking as we navigate this crises together.
5 steps to handle the present situation with your children
1. Tell them the truth: We can't sugar coat the situation to our kids - this is the world they are growing up in unfortunately. Tell them the truth in the way they will understand so that they are aware. It is better you talk to them than them getting all kinds of information straight from the media. Our kids are smarter than we sometimes give them credit for, so be proactive and always tell them the truth in love.
2. Offer Hope & Encouragement: So while we tell them the truth, we must balance it with a sense of hope and encouragement. Their emotions are raw. Allow them to feel, to express it through art, writing, or talking about it. Listen. Then encourage them. Tell them they are not alone and we as a community will get through this together. Remind them of their unique capabilities. That despite the ugliness that exists, there is still beauty. They can still shine. They can still be the best versions of themselves. They can still achieve what they put their minds to. Encourage them to see beyond this.
3. Show them the path forward: Tell them what we are doing about it - We are advocating for change by - exercising our political power - VOTING, speaking up and speaking out, supporting organizations that are at the forefront, supporting black owned businesses, holding our heads up, being careful, smart, aware and being the change we want to see.
4. Cover them: In our family, we believe in the power of prayer. So we pray. And if you so will - Pray with them, for them and for our community to heal and to be restored. We can pray that there will be peace and that things will change.
5. Live: Take time to care for yourself and your mental health so you can be whole for them. While it is important to stay informed, it can be a lot. So make sure you unplug. Give them a sense of family more than ever at this time. Live. Love. Laugh. As cliche as that sounds, it is critical. As we continue to unite as strong family units all across this country, we will be unstoppable and unbreakable. Our children need us, so please care for yourself and be mindful of how you consume content and how they consume content so that they are not overwhelmed or unneccesarily distressed.
Let's do our part to get through this together. In unity of purpose.
Love and Light.
How are you handling this situation with your children? Please share in the comments any tips that will help us all.