Happy Thursday, my friends! I’m pretty pumped up because that thing I vaguely mentioned yesterday is happening and I’m so EXCITED. But I’m going to save it for Friday Favorites because it’s for sure my favorite! (Again, it’s actually a really boring thing, unless you’re me. Not pregnant.)
Also exciting – it’s time for this month’s Seeking Advice! Seeking Advice is my monthly series where I ask you all for your advice on a sticky parenting topic, and then post the answers a week later. You can check out past Seeking Advice posts here: Bad Language, Stranger Danger, Money
As parents, there are so many questions we may have and for the most part, for each question, there are a million different answers. So where do you start? How do you determine what is the “right” answer? For me, the answer is research and ask around – which is what this new series is going to be for.
Once a month, I ask a question to all of you about an aspect of parenting that is all shades of gray. I’ll ask the question(s), give my own opinion on the matter, and then leave it to all of you lovely people. My hope is that the comments section of this post will fill up with helpful, supportive comments that reflect a number of different points of view. After a week has passed, I will then compile the most helpful comments into one post called, “Advice Found: [insert topic here]”. If you are a blogger, I will include a link back to your blog so that if someone really identifies with your view on something, they can hop over and learn more about you. If you have written a post on the topic in the past, feel free to leave it with your comment – I may link it up! This post will go up on a Sunday, so the Advice Found for this post will go live on August 14. I hope for this series to become a resource for myself and others trying to navigate parenting and life, and a place where we can all be honest, open, and accepting.
I also want to note – if you do not have children, THAT IS FINE! You undoubtedly have an opinion on the topic – someone raised you, and they did XYZ while doing it. What’s your opinion on it? How did you parents handle it? How do you expect others’ children to behave in regards to the topic?
That being said, any negative, rude, or hurtful comments will be deleted without notice. I want everyone to feel comfortable expressing views and opinions without feeling judged or criticized. So let’s get to it!
I was 10 years old on September 11, 2001. Sitting in my fifth-grade class, other kids started being called down to the principal, their parents waiting to take them home. No one had any idea what was happening, but we were all eager and hoping our names came next – I mean, who didn’t want to go home early?
Eventually, we learned what had happened – I remember my friends coming over because their mom had to work and my dad watching them. I remember my dad having to go out for something and having a complete meltdown because I was sure that my tiny town of Somerville, New Jersey was next. I remember a gut wrenching fear whenever we heard military planes overhead. I remember being scared, confused, and angry. I was ten, and the world was coming to an end.
Obviously, that’s not what happened, regardless of how it felt at the time. But to a kid, the terror splashed on the news, the constantly playing videos of towers falling, the unending list of missing and dead – it all sounded horrifying. It felt like there was no more good in the world. It felt like I was next.
And here I sit, almost 15 years later wondering when my own children will feel that empty fear. Not if but when. It’s the sad, sad truth that the world we live in is terrifying. Every other day a horrible news story about death and hate and terror is paraded across the TV, uncaring about what impressionable, innocent minds may be in earshot. How am I supposed to navigate this? When my boys are sitting on the living room couch, crying because they’re scared about the horrible things in this world, what am I supposed to say?
And you know what? For this month’s Seeking Advice, I have no idea what my opinion of plan of action is, like I usually share. I feel so unprepared, because like I shared in my post What to do When the Scary World Gets to You I myself am scared of this world. I myself and searching for a way to comfort myself in this scary world. So I have no idea.
This month, I’m asking you to share your ideas, opinions, and advice on how to handle children and tragedy. How do you approach tragic topics with your children? Do you address it before they encounter it? How do you reassure them in times of uncertainty? I want to know before I have to wing it.
As always, please leave your advice in the comments and check back in on August 14 to see my favorites for this month’s Advice found.