5 things to tell your child in the midst of tragedy

As I watch the news and then look down at my one month old that is so cozily nestled in my arms, I find myself at a loss of words. 

You turn on the news or look online and you’re flooded with negativity, more examples of the human race working against one another instead of working together. More hatred, more separation amongst races, more mass shootings, more innocent children dying, more separation amongst political parties, amongst other nations…more important laws, pacts and agreements dissipated. 

Very seldom do you see images and hear stories of individuals embracing each other’s differences. There’s more tearing each other down than building each other up. Very seldom do you see positive stories in the media, instead it’s flooded with negative stories – more hatred, more violence, more of a divide. 

How do you explain to a child that there are bad people who will do horrible things whenever, and wherever, even in churches and at concerts? How do you explain to them that the reason you’re so worried every time they leave your sight is because you truly just never know…you never know when or where another act of terror may occur. 

When the time comes and my child asks me difficult questions about difficult situations going on in the world, I will remind my child that in the midst of tragedy, always remember these things:

1. Look for the good: typically, in any news story or images from a tragic event there is a “hero”, an individual who is helping, an individual who is doing whatever they can to improve the negative situations of others. Focus on that. Find hope in the stories of strangers helping strangers. 

2. Be a do gooder: help others whenever you can, always go above and beyond to do the right thing. The human race needs to come together as one more than ever before. Be apart of bringing people together instead of bringing them farther apart. Remember this quote: “If you’re not making someone else’s life better than you’re wasting your time”

3. Don’t let the negativity in the world prevent you from living your life. Don’t let those causing the fear, “win”. Don’t give them that satisfaction. Be cautious, yes. But don’t let the negativity stop you from living your life

4. Always choose kindness: kindness goes a far way. Do small things that make people smile, laugh and feel good. To you it may be minimal but to the person, it may make their day. In times of stress and of sadness, making someone smile goes a long way

5. Have faith and dig deep: dig deep within yourself and find the positivity. Have hope. Remind yourself that there is always room for change and improvement…always room for the world to sway in the right direction. Room for a change in leadership, change in laws or polices, room for a change in the way people treat one another

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