I don’t shield my kids from the news but I will throttle it back if necessary. I believe in keeping my kids aware of what goes on in the world. I don’t think you should shield them from the realities of the world we live in today. They need to be as prepared as possible to be able to function when they are out there without you. You can’t send your kid off without the necessary skills, knowledge, and fine tuned intuition. This used to be called ‘Street Smarts’ when dealing with basic crime. As the world has evolved and evil had gone to extremes, unfortunately, they need to be more aware than ever.
I remember after the birth of my youngest (who’s birthday is actually today) questioning the logic of bringing a child into this world. I never thought I’d get to that point, but that is exactly what I thought almost a year into her life. She was born just months before the tragedy on September 11th. My family was, and still is, living in the Washington, DC area so immediately after living through the 9/11 attacks we had to deal with the Anthrax attacks. And after that we had to live through months of terror due to the DC sniper. It just seemed like tragedy and despair were running rampant in society. It was probably around that time when I really did start to ask myself if I would still have a kid considering what was going on. I didn’t regret having our child. I just thought if I was in the position of just starting out trying to have one, would I still do it?
There continues to be insanity in the world and pure senseless evil. Gabby Giffords, Virginia Tech, the Colorado theatre shooting, Sandy Hook, and now the Boston Marathon. Each is very difficult to explain to your kids, makes no real sense, and seems to escalate from one to the next. But, your kids WILL find out about it so you might as well be the one to discuss it. Last night I pretty much kept the news off for my youngest daughter’s benefit. Later in the night she came up to me and asked if I saw what happened at the Boston Marathon. She had seen news of it on Instagram. Just goes to show that you might as well be out in front of it.
Being a father to girls, you have to always give that extra bit of education on the evil of men in the world. There are sick bastards out there that prey on and attack women. You worry about rape, overly possessive and abusive boyfriends, stalkers, etc. Boys/men have much less likelihood of being victimized in such a way. So beyond providing them enough information to always be aware and cautious in their daily activity, now they also have to be cognizant of their surroundings for anything that could happen at any moment. With that said, at the end of the day, there isn’t much you can do to prevent being a victim to yesterday’s (and other instances) of random ridiculous violence.
You can also look at the pictures and video of all of those heroes that ran in there and started helping. There were numerous acts of kindness and thousands of good people doing all they could to help. THAT is what is important to remember. There are good folks in the world and we aren’t completely screwed.
I’m going to continue to hold my daughters tight, tell them I love them, and let them know I’ll do everything in my power to always be there for them and to protect them…and at the same time get them as ready as they can be to take on the world we live in.
And…I’m happy to say that YES, I would still bring a child into this world. I’m SO happy and truly blessed to have my daughter. She is the essence of everything that is good in the world.