What causes all this hate? Sometimes it is mental illness. Sometimes it is religious and/or political beliefs. And sometimes it is inexpiable evil! While it may seem like we are in the worst of times, none of these causes of human destruction are new. What is new--very new--is social media. With social media we have a magnifier of events, not that each event itself is always magnified in its terror, but the breadth and fear are magnified, making it seem closer to us and more likely to happen to us personally.
Social media also encourages like-minded opportunists of fear and hate. There is not much we as fathers and mother can do about that, but we can do something protect our children from potential harm. How each family decides to approach this issue is up to their best judgement, but I think it is something you must think about based on your children’s ages, their temperament, where you live, etc.
Most would agree that younger children should be shielded from all visions and/or sounds of tragedy. They will not understand the risks neither of how likely they will be personally affected, nor do they need to be unnecessarily upset or afraid. As they get older, you will not be able to shield them and, therefore, you must understand how they are being impacted.
While some young kids ignore adult issues, others are more sensitive and are unable to put what they hear into perspective. That’s when parents must be in tune with their children, putting them at ease about topics that won’t directly affect them while cautioning them about other issues in which they may be at risk.
It is a real challenge to prepare a child for a risk without scaring them in the process. There is no one way to prepare them because the risk levels and consequences can be so different for each family based where they live, the temperament of the children, and how the parents see the world. But in these times of social media and the constant presence of dreadful news, we must also protect them from irrational fears, nightmares, and the knowledge of the world’s tragedies when that knowledge will do them more harm than good.
In summary, parents must consider the world we live in, the situation in which they find themselves, and how they will protect their children. We can protect them from real dangers and also protect them from needless worry and fear. To just stand by and hope for the best will not be the best choice for your family.