How Do You Talk to Your Kids About Current Events?

The world is a crazy, loud place. And it seems to have gotten even more crazy over the last few weeks. COVID-19 is scaring everyone, possibly because we don’t totally seem able to grasp how real and severe it could be.

For as confusing and scary and big as this is for us, just imagine how this feels for our kids.

I recently went Live on Facebook to ask our followers how they’re talking about this with their kids. How do you calmly and wisely keep your kids updated about what’s happening in the world instead of inciting panic? How do you answer their questions honestly and rationally, without inserting your own emotions, fears or worries into the conversation?

Most of you know I have three young boys: a 3 year old, a 2 year old and a 5 month old. The baby is easy; no questions there. The 2-year old is tricky; he’s aware of a change but isn’t able to communicate the realization and doesn’t know how to ask real questions (yet). My 3 year old, however, is extremely astute. He knows something is different. He knows we’ve altered from our routine. But the dead giveaway for my boys is that my husband is working from home during the busiest time of the year for him (tax season).

So the questions have come up:

  • Why can’t we just run to Target to get more diapers?
  • Why are you ordering more stuff online?
  • Why can’t we go to the grocery store?
  • Why aren’t we going to school?

And I’ve answered them all the same way: “There are a lot of people who are very sick right now, so we’re staying home so we don’t get sick and they can get better faster.”

For now, that seems to be enough of an answer.

And for many who shared their own approaches with their kids, it seems to be a similar theme: don’t volunteer too much information. Explain in the most basic terms what’s happening and then wait for more questions.

This has been an approach that has worked well for younger kids.

But what about older kids? Kids who are old enough to be aware of a little more change and why that change is happening? Kids who are old enough to have jobs and this news is impacting their ability to work, whether they’ve been told to not come in for an extended period of time or that they are working extra shifts at grocery stores or pharmacies.

Though I haven’t heard much from parents about what they’re doing with the older age groups, my guidance is as follows: be honest. Be calm. Check your emotions and anxiety at the door. Don’t be dismissive of their concerns; actively listen to what they’re saying or asking and be confident in your response, even if your answer is “I don’t know.”

Be human. Be their parent.

Take Action
Be sure to take a moment for yourself in all of this, too. It’s not possible to be calm, check your emotions and be anxious. We know what we have to do, we just don’t always know how.

Start by taking a deep breath then find someone to talk to. Whether it’s a friend, partner or coach, talking through things can be extremely helpful. Sometimes you just need to hear your worries out loud to start to control them.

By Kristin Allaben

Consider reading Are You a Life Owner or a Life Blamer

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Curiosity and Critical Thinking

By Jay Forte

Fake news.

As the phrase implies, it is used to discount any piece of information that is not in alignment with what the speaker feels to be supportive of his/her perspectives. It’s a catch phrase we’re hearing a lot lately, frequently used by our presidential administration and, as a result, regularly used by nearly every media outlet.

Though a simple definition, the phrase deserves to be reviewed in greater detail. Because of today’s 24/7 news cycle, our thinking is often done for us. No break in our information stream means we’re constantly hearing varied information, making it hard to tell what’s fact and what’s not, who can be trusted and who can’t.

Herein lies the real challenge: with a constant stream of information, we’re missing the chance to be critical thinkers. We need to hold ourselves accountable to draw our own conclusions. We need to do our own work, think deeply and focus on facts. To be a critical thinker requires curiosity; it requires you to want to know more, hear more, think more. It requires you to not take things at face value. Our world, however, makes it easy to move through life without thinking since the deluge of information essentially tells us what to buy, where to live, what to drive and what to believe.

So here’s your task. When someone says fake news, ask how and why. When someone tells us that we should invest or take our money out of the market, we should do our homework to understand what is going on and what our options are. When someone says you should go to a specific college, major in a certain subject or get a particular job, we should be curious about who we are and think critically about where we fit in today’s world.

Important Questions from a Coach

  1. How often do you take what others say as fact without any review or thought?
  2. How can you think more intentionally about the information you encounter each day?
  3. What areas in work and life deserve deeper thinking and greater curiosity?

Know the difference between perspective and fact, of editorializing and reporting. Develop your “show me” or “convince me” mindset. Be curious about everything. Do your own work. Think critically. Make up your own mind.


Consider reading Are You Ruled by Worry, Fear and Uncertainty?

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Embrace Your Face

By Jay Forte

You were born with your amazing face. It matches your unique combination of talents, strengths, passions and interests. It goes along with your values, dreams and aspirations. Don’t try to hide it, trade it for another or find fault with it. Embrace it; it is you and represents the real you.

Embrace your face means you accept yourself; you see yourself as valuable, important and just right as you are. No fixing needed. No validation from others required.

The biggest thing I have learned in my years on the planet is those who have happy, successful and amazing lives fully understand and accept who they are. They have learned not to compare themselves to others because they know we are all different and unique on purpose. They don’t see what they have or don’t have as good or bad – they just see that everyone has unique abilities, talents and gifts. No one person is any more amazing or gifted than another, they are just a different type of amazing and have different gifts. They know life isn’t about being perfect, or being like someone else; it is about being real, honest, authentic and committed to knowing and living who you really are – to be the best version of you.

For many years, I lived my life according to the way those around me thought I should. I tried to “change my face” to act more like others, do what they do, believe what they believe, live how they live. It was too easy to see others and want what they have, be like them or live their way. But it quickly became evident that when I did that, I felt further and further from who I was, like I was living someone else’s life.

Don’t let this happen to you

The more you don’t embrace your face, the more you lose or hide the great things in you. You find yourself in places that don’t fit you, engage you or inspire you. You play small. You miss out.

I believe we are each here to do great things, things only we can do. And we can’t do them if we don’t embrace who we are, accept ourselves and develop the gifts, talents and abilities that are inherently ours. Not only do you miss out by not being really you, we all miss out on the great things you were born to do.

Important Questions from a Coach

  1. How do you embrace your face – and all of you that comes with it?
  2. What is one thing you could do today to be more authentic, honest and true to yourself?
  3. What will help you develop the courage to live who you really are and not be so worried about what others think and feel about you?

You are you and you were born just right. Stand proud. Discover, develop and live your true self. Embrace your face.


Consider reading Tune Out to Tune In

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