No matter what your political affiliation, there is no disputing that we are living in a stressful time. There seem to be endless global conflicts in which people flippantly talk about World War 3, debates about climate change and raging wildfires, and a divided government. The barrage of terrible news—amplified by social media—is enough to put adults on edge.
Don’t forget that your children are on the periphery. They hear our conversations, they talk to their friends at school, and they may be exposed to troubling news that we aren’t even aware they know. As children, they lack the emotional maturity and life experience to comprehend and process this barrage of stressful information. The question that we must ask ourselves as parents is: If we are struggling to cope with current events, how are our children coping?
- Model healthy coping for them. Your action and conduct speak louder than your words. If you resort to lashing out, yelling, or turning to unhealthy substances to cope with stress, you are teaching your children to cope in the same way. Instead, try to have a conversation in which you honestly express your feelings and use your words to process those feelings.
- Be mindful of your conversations in the children’s presence. One of the greatest strengths of our country is our freedom to express our words without government intrusion. But this freedom comes with the duty to use it responsibly, especially as parents. Even if it appears your children are not paying attention, they are probably absorbing much more than they let on.
- Remain aware of your children’s internet and social medial access. With smartphones, tablets, and laptops becoming an increasingly common tool in school and for homework, your children probably have access to the internet. Make sure you are familiar with parental settings that limit the content and duration of their screen time, and that you have some awareness of the content they are reading.
- If your children have questions, don’t shut them down. Unfortunately, we are in a climate where terrible news is a regular occurrence and few public figures filter themselves. Your children are going to have questions about what they hear. Listen to them and thoughtfully talk through their questions. You should prefer this to let children reach their conclusions during this formative time in their development.
- Seek educational resources or speak with your children’s teachers for ideas about explaining these tough subjects to your children. You are not alone and every parent is experiencing this same phenomenon. You can rely on the experience and support of your community to help guide you.
- Give your children opportunities to be proactive about issues they are passionate about. By volunteering or becoming involved with causes they care about, you are teaching them to be productive members of the community.
Let New Direction Family Law Assist You
New Direction Family Law provides top-quality legal representation for men and women seeking to end their marriage or resolve child custody issues. Our attorneys are intelligent, hard-working professionals who never lose sight of what matters to our clients. If you want an attorney who will zealously advocate for your parental rights, contact us. Our firm serves clients in Wake, Johnston, Durham, and surrounding counties. Call New Direction Family Law at (919) 719-3470 to schedule an appointment or visit us online at our website.