Politics and Kids - STOP Scaring our Children!

The other day I had a conversation with a young child. She was drawing a bright and sunny landscape. When I asked  her how she was feeling, she said she was scared. Not what I expected from what she drew. I asked her to tell me more, and she replied, "The world is so sad and gloomy." Really? "Yeah, my mom and dad say the world is going to end soon and I'm so scared."

Turns out the parents had been Trump bashing and the child's world imploded with fear and uncertainty. Children should NOT be part of those adult conversations. This type of exposure makes children feel unsafe and becomes part of the thread of trauma that will haunt them for the rest of their lives, if, indeed they live a long life. Even adults have become sodden with tension, anxiety, and depression about the state of affairs of the world. This is on both sides - liberals and conservatives. And it must be stopped! Common sense needs to make its arrival on the scene immediately!

Common sense used to be more evident in our lives in the past. Yes, people griped about the leaders, no matter what their political affiliation. Something went wrong in their lives and folks blamed the government. Makes me kind of smile. I remember the hate and venom spewed towards Ronald Reagan, but today, one would think he was a minor god. Yes, I was a teen when I heard these things, but, as a small child, my world only consisted of my home, my neighborhood, church, and school. I wasn't made afraid until high school, when I, too, thought the world might end during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Being afraid became part of my psyche as we practiced nuclear war drills in my school - sitting under a desk was certainly not going to save any of us and I knew it. I prayed for a bomb shelter in my back yard....

Fast forward to the 2016 election and many of us will remember this as a pivotal time when, as adults, we were afraid. Afraid to speak. Afraid to say what we felt. Afraid we would be labeled something perverse. Afraid of being afraid. How did I diminish my fear?

  • I deleted as many political posts on my Facebook age.
  • I stayed away from Twitter.
  • I didn't even go on Instagram.
  • I dropped out of groups where grown women used negative & punitive political language at small, intimate dinners and mocked other women not of their political persuasion.
  • I stopped reading the newspaper.
  • I stopped listening to the news.
  • I let folks know I did not want to hear any of it.
Image result for bright and sunny landscapeAnd, so now am I feeling better? You betcha. If the world is gonna end soon, I will go happily. My life is filled with good things. I am helping immigrant children learn English. I am helping them understand concepts they thought were indecipherable. I am slowly adding back friends I shunned for a while, and I am filling my life with positivity. Don't knock it. It works for me. I wish it would work for many others. Life is simply too short to spend it in a shroud of negativity. 

Take out your art supplies and draw that bright and sunny landscape and, then, better yet, live in that world. It's your choice.

1 comment:

cody.c.benson said...

I think that parents used to keep the adult world separate from children and would let their kids go out and play on their own more. Liberal parents tend to be more helicopters parents and so having the kids around all the time they are going to hear all this. You make very good points about staying away from news and media, I usually take a weekend break from social media every week and I find it helps keep me balanced. Good post!