Yesterday was supposed to be a day where I was going to ask you all how you like to organize yourself in a new year. I had a crazy picture of me with my planner for January. I was going to talk about how I have tried digital calendars, but I just work best with a physical paper planner. I had tips for organizing multiple kids’ schedules with my favorite colored pens…… then the news hit about the latest COVID numbers and the attack on the Capitol pretty much at the same time. Planning and color coding a planner seemed so silly and trivial.
It seems like 2021 is heading down the same unpredictable road of 2020. I should probably talk more about which brand of white out I like best rather than the planners and pens I like. ?
Why plan when it seems like the world is literally on fire and burning down around us? A sacred institution in our Country was breached. Our Democracy was threatened.
?Here’s the deal. Yes, this world is a hot mess right now. A lot of people need a timeout, their mouths washed out with soap, and a get-a-long shirt.
? We can’t control what others do and say – as frustrating as it is.
? What we can control is what we listen to, what we let into our hearts and minds, what comes out of our mouths, and how we treat others.
? Our kids are watching. They need our guidance. They need to understand what is happening around them. They need our love. They need to feel safe and to develop a trust in right vs wrong.
❓How do we talk to our kids about this? ❓
1. Be honest. Don’t sugar coat it, but don’t go into a ton of detail either. Simply state facts about what occurred.
2. Share how you feel. Kids need to see that is ok to have these feelings. We have to show them how we regulate our emotions. We need to walk each other home (as one of my favorites, Dr. Jody Carrington, says).
3. Hold space for them. Let them talk it out. Just sit and listen. Don’t try to explain or interrupt. Say things like “tell me more about that…” “Why do you think you feel that way?” You want to get deeper into their thoughts and feelings.
4. Reiterate your family’s values. Talk about empathy, love, kindness, listening for understanding.
5.Let them tell you how they think things could be better. You’ll be surprised at how smart and intuitive they are.
We are going through some very difficult times. As adults we have been here before. We all remember 9/11. Our kids have never experienced something like this. It’s shocking. It’s scary. It causes fear, trauma, and anxiety. Even if you don’t think they know about yesterday’s events there’s a good chance that they do.
?Our kids are listening. They know a lot more than we think they know.
❤️ We will get through this. Here is a clip of Mr. Rogers’ speech to all of us after 9/11. It may help.
I am sending my love to all of you today.