[Photo Credit: NASA; the Gulf oil spill April 29, shortly after the April 20 explosion.]
As a parent, we want to protect and shield our children from the horrors and disasters of the world. But the reality is that we live in a world where bad things happen. Take for instance, the recent oil spew in the gulf which is a devistating disaster harming sea life, ocean, beaches, people physically and financially and the long term affects are unknown. Or the subprime housing fiasco which pulled the rug out from under the foundation of our economy. We feel it. We can’t ignore it. But how much do we share about it with our children? A mom I know posed this question which got me thinking about the duality in life.
My children are very young, so we haven’t gotten that deep yet…
But my belief is to always tell them everything based in truth and as much reality as is age appropriate… and then to end with hope for the future or the possible upside of things.
Children take in a lot from us that is non-verbal. If we react deeply to a situation such as the oil spill, they feel it. If we feel hopeless about the state of the world and our future, they will feel it even if you express in words otherwise.
In my opinion, it comes down to our own trust in life. Yes there is always going to be duality, as there is always dark and light. But that dark can be interpreted and deeply felt either as despair and hopelessness… or as the reality of darkness that does exist in this world, but does not take away the abundancy of light that also exists. Nature (God/Universe) has a way of giving ultimate power to the good, even if we don’t see or understand it. The law of nature is healing beyond statistics, studies, human degradation and our capacity to understand it or see it in it’s entirety.
My belief is that this trust in the good (God/Universe) in life is the rock that will keep me and my family on solid ground when life throws unknowns our way. Even if we don’t talk about this trust, our children feel it in our voice, in our body language and our overall energy. As they grow up, it can help them to face the dark in life and deal with it as it comes their way. We parents can demonstrate that we can care and even act upon what is happening without being swallowed up by the darkness of it. It is a tool that can even help our children to be leaders in shining light where it seemed only darkness existed. We can share a limited amount of the reality of the situation with them and then any amount of good or hope that we can see.
With the good comes the bad… and with the bad comes the good. Which do you want to focus on? That’s what your children will focus on too.
Wishing you and your family lots of light in a sometimes dark world,
Your Sensible Girlfriend