There’s a lot going on in our nation. Division, violence, injustice—and oh yeah, wasn’t there also a pandemic? If you’re a parent, you might be wondering how to help your children make sense of it all. These aren’t issues that are going to be old news next week—they’re things that our children will see and ask about and need to understand.
“When this tragedy happened in Minneapolis, Minnesota, it sparked something in many many people that has been an underlying issue in our communities and now it’s in the forefront and we’re going to have to figure out a way to work with that. And it’s not just going to happen overnight; this is something that our kids will also take up as they grow up in our communities and have to make sure that they make the world a better place,” said Kim Morgan, a Catholic wife, mom, and licensed independent clinical social worker.
We want to protect our young kids, but we also need to answer their questions teach them about loving and respecting the dignity of all people. Where’s the balance?
“One of the things we need to do is make sure we are telling them the truth, but make sure that truth is only as much as they need to know. Maybe they ask a question, you answer it, and they move on and go do something else—then that was enough. If they continue the dialogue and ask more questions or want to know what you think about it, then your child is more ready to learn about some of this and hear some of it,” explained Morgan. “But they don’t really need to see the graphic images on the TV, on the computer screen … it’s really not helpful for small children because they don’t have the emotional bandwidth … to be able to process a lot of that.”
A vital part of this, explains Morgan, is figuring out how we can take action to make our world a better place and set an example for our kids. It’s even better if your kids can get involved.
Our faith teaches us that every single human being is made in the image and likeness of God. Each of us has dignity and deserves respect and love. “Love one another as I have loved you,” says our Lord, Jesus Christ. When you teach these truths to your kids and model how to follow this commandment, you’re helping to raise people who will stand up for justice and love in the next generation.
However you discern that you should act—listening, discussing, donating, praying, demonstrating, advocating, educating—let Christ work through you to make the world a better and more peaceful place, starting right in your own home and radiating out into your community.
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