Raising A Child In A World Full of Tragedy

From the horrific shooting that took place in Las Vegas to the hurricane that ravaged Puerto Rico & many islands to the terrorist attacks in the UK and everything in between, I feel like I am living in a constant state of dread, sadness, confusion, and fear. 

I feel dread because I don’t know what is coming next. When is enough enough?

I am so sad for the lives who have been lost or impacted. Hate doesn’t care who you are. These people were parents, daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, teachers, nurses, etc.

I am confused because I don’t understand the need for senseless destruction.

I am scared and I think twice about going to crowded events like a Razorback football game or a concert at the amp. Places where I used to have fun.

I live in fear because my child goes to daycare near a middle school and an elementary school that could suffer the same horror as Sandy Hook. I live in fear because I feel like I cannot protect him, like I want to…or need to.

From manmade disasters to natural disasters, it seems like nowhere is safe anymore. But how do we not let this debilitate us? How do we protect our kids? How do we inform them but not scare them from living? When is enough enough? Is this just the way they are going to grow up? I don’t want my son to think this is “normal”.

I think these are the questions every parent is asking themselves right now. And while I am struggling with this, the answer is we can’t be debilitated by fear. And we need to overcome our fear with action. Source

As parents, we are shaping the future generation and we have to teach our children that these seemingly repetitive instances are unacceptable. We can’t let them become desensitized to it. They have to know it is wrong to shoot people, to throw bombs, to terrorize others. And because of the world we are living in, they need to not live in fear but they need to learn to be more aware of their surroundings and to listen to their gut. If they feel uncomfortable, get out of that situation.

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While we can’t control the natural disasters, we can teach our children to help others impacted by them. It doesn’t have to be huge to make a difference. I lived in Puerto Rico for some of my high school years and I have many friends who have been devastated by this hurricane.  Devastated is likely an understatement. They are rebuilding everything and there is so much need. There are so many opportunities to help and I have found when I am helping others, I am less focused on my own fears. And even though my son is young, he loves helping others. I will continue to spur this on as he grows.

This has been a horribly tragic year for the United States and the world. And yet, we seem more divided than ever. It makes me hide under a rock with my family but I can’t….I have a son who is depending on me to teach him how to live in a world full of tragedies, how to determine right from wrong and how to love others. And I hope you’ll do the same.

 

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