What Kids Need: Global Concerns

The news has recently been running video regarding the century-old ice that is melting in the Arctic.  I have found that your youth today, of all age groups, have a natural concern for the environment, as well as other global concerns, such as world peace and world hunger.  I find that most refreshing!  Youth not only have these concerns but are doing something about it at younger and younger ages.  This is an asset; it helps to create resilience or a Teflon coating for kids in their life.  Resiliency helps to build flexibility during the tough times, the times when we’re not there as adults.  It is essential to talk about world matters with kids of all ages and to help them see life beyond themselves.  They, in turn, grow up less self-centered and more value-adding in their attitude.

As a family, establish the habit of giving money to charitable organizations.  Help your kids to find organizations that they care about and raise some money to provide, or even help choose which ones you decide to give money.  Kids can set aside part of the money they earn or are given, thus helping them to learn to give to others and charitable causes.  As you watch the news or read about the story, discuss issues with your kids being careful to set-aside your biases!  Help them to choose their view without your influence and encourage them to follow-up by learning more about a cause or condition that exists if there is something that touches your child personally, follow-up on that by learning more.  Join them in finding out the details of the problem, what is being done, and what can be done.  Discuss with them what ways they feel they can help.  There are many impressive stories on the news about the work that kids have done that have had a global impact.

By helping kids to reach out in this manner we help them to understand that their life matters, that they matter, that they can make a difference right from where they live.  We help them to adopt an attitude of gratitude toward their life by recognizing the short-fall of others.  I challenge you today to pay attention to what issues touch your child.  What concerns touch their hearts and help them to follow-up on those concerns.  When we take time for this wonderful part of humanity, we help them to develop life-long skills that will serve them for the rest of their life.

Yours for Better Parenting,