I am deeply saddened about the tragic loss of life and property during the recent fire and mudslides in Montecito, CA. Many families in this community, including my own, were directly impacted and it's likely that you are one of them or know someone who was. My thoughts, prayers and offers of support go out to you. Please reach out to me if you need support.
When tragedies strike (and it is a fact of life that they will- so this applies to all of us, including those who were not affected by THIS tragedy), it is extremely important to not let our adult anxieties and concerns find their way into the world of our children. According to Kim John Payne , author of Simplicity Parenting, "children need to know that they have a place in a good world, and a future of promise" (190). He goes on to say that most children do not understand the concepts that adults are discussing, but they do tune in to the "current of emotion" running through the words.
This is not always easy. Despite my own efforts to keep my grief from my kids, I know that they are feeling it energetically. But, as always, I will continue to do my best to protect them!
As intentional parents, we all strive to provide our children with a place to learn and grow under our thoughtful guidance. We want them to have a sense of confidence in the justness of the world. This helps them trust the world and their own growing sense of competence. This does not mean, however, that we are in denial about the realities of the world or that we are acting in an overprotective manner towards our kids regarding those realities.
One way to support our children during difficult times, according to an article from Susan Weber, Director of the Sophia’s Hearth Family Center, is by protecting them from "information that they cannot comprehend or digest – saving our adult conversations for later, turning off televisions and radios in their presence." And I would like to add that putting our phones aside while with our kids will allow us to be more present with them, in all ways.