Sometimes No News is Good News…….

March 24, 2011 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

I blog to get people to donate to kid’s charities. I don’t want money, I want you to donate direct to a children’s charity then write to me by commenting on the blog. Please read the ‘About Lesley’ section of the blog to find out why I do this; the Comments and Running Totals pages to see how far we have come….

I wanted to touch on the theme of news again tonight but with a slightly different slant. My thanks to @mimiraad on Twitter as it was a conversation we had that triggered this post. I had been, as I often do, watching the news and was feeling rather overwhelmed by the levels of disaster and war. Mimi responded that her 7 year-old son had said that one bad thing about growing up was learning about bad things like bombing, tsunamis and girls disappearing.

That one small statement rocked me on my heels. I am a grown-up; please feel free to say that it is easy for me to bemoan the awful events happening at the moment from the comfort of my sofa, I can take that. However, imagine being a child and catching the news over recent weeks. Nature has sharpened her teeth and is showing us her feral power, people are rising up and being put down with  venom and violence, people disappear suddenly and the world is in a recession. How do children take all this on board and how do we deal with their questions? My children are now grown-up but I remember both being a child in Northern Ireland throughout the Troubles and my elder children growing up in the same situation. My position then is the same as now, people should not be disliked or reviled based on their religion or origin. I was not alone in feeling this way and am glad that my children feel the same way. I am pleased we now have a more peaceful situation here. It is not perfect, there are many who will judge you based on ‘which foot you kick with’ but we are a warm and welcoming society on the whole.

I also remember my eldest son becoming quite concerned about death when he was very young, he was just two. He would ask me to promise that I wouldn’t die before the morning. I always said I would do my very best not to die, I wouldn’t promise him ‘just in case’ but it did worry me for a very long time. I used to sing the Postman Pat song quite a lot to make him smile before he went to sleep. This reinforces my belief that although we do try to protect our children from news and horror they will always pick up on it in their own way.

So, how do we deal with children and the news? I don’t have all the answers here, you will all know your children and what best to do for them. I am sure most of us would like to embargo news completely for our children but that doesn’t work as the playground will always have an influence. Children also love a bit of ‘naughty’ as evidenced by the Grimm Brothers and the superlative Roald Dahl. However, fairy stories generally have a moral core and a happy ending, the news doesn’t. Children will pick up on news and will want to talk about it. They do want to understand and this is where parenting has to meet the difficult challenge. We need to help our children understand some without leaving them with no hope, a fine line to walk. I know I talked with my children about the news, they needed to understand that not everyone is kind. To counterbalance this, I emphasised that most people are good and wish for peace, that good people needed to stand up to those who would be bad. I kept it very simple whilst they were very young, as they got older we had more in-depth discussions. I’m not saying this will work for you but I hope that you get your balance on this very difficult topic.

I close with my normal request to you:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity. Donate a present to a family or child that will not have the holiday season that you might expect and plan for.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions.

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8-year-old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

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Entry filed under: Age, Childhood, Children, Donating, Giving, Life, News, Twitter, wheniwas8. Tags: , , , , , , , .

What in the World? Part 2. Though Sticks and Stones?

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