Talk about hard things
With all of the craziness in this world, our first instinct is always to try to shield our kids from the bad stuff in life. Whether it’s the dangers of sharp edges around the house when they are little, to all of the things we see and hear on the news today, we want to make sure our kids are protected and safe. At the same time, I think it’s good to talk about hard things with our kids.
Between the war in Ukraine, violence in our cities in the US, and life and death happening all around us, our kids absorb a lot more than we think they do. They pay attention, and I think it’s good to discuss and explain all of those things so that they understand how the world works. Not to freak them out – but just the opposite.
In much the same way as Kristi talked about her puppy getting older a few months ago, our sweet family dog has hit some health problems in the last month, and we’ve started to talk to our kids about saying goodbye. His latest infection post-surgery to remove a cancerous lump is finally clearing up, but his back legs are not working well and we’re just hoping to keep him going a little longer at this point.
Our family pets are truly members of the household, and they are always here for us – always right by our sides when we need comfort, a companion to take a walk or talk to throughout our days. Especially for me – I work from home most of the time, and Spots usually sleeps at my feet under my desk while I’m working. He follows me around the house, and he gets excited every single time we come home, whether we’ve been gone for days or just an hour.
Life and death can be abstract – especially for kids. Or it can be very, very real.
In Ukraine, where every family has been impacted by this horrific war, life and death is their every day reality. Mothers and children have escaped what was their safe, normal life, blown apart by a dictator who has no respect for another country’s boundaries or independence. And my kids have been praying for the people of Ukraine every single night for two months.
It is good to talk about hard things, including current events, with our kids. Talking things out helps us teach our children that life can be hard, and show them how we handle those things. Sometimes, we have to say that we don’t know why things are happening. That we don’t know why there are bad people in our world. But our job is to do our best in our little corner of the world, and treat our friends with kindness.
Sometimes, boiling it down to the simple is best. We don’t know all the answers, but loving one another in our sphere of influence helps. Loving our kids – and our pets – helps all of us in the day to day. We can talk about hard things with our kids. And their little bedtime prayers help just as much as our big people prayers. Maybe more – they are simple, and heartfelt. Kids are pure. And yes, we should keep them that way as long as we can…but acknowledging the bad in the world is part of life as well.