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We instinctively want to shield children from life’s harsh realities, especially today when we live in a time of increased negativity and uncertainty. I think if I could wrap my own children in emotional (and sometimes physical) bubble wrap, my parenting job would be a lot easier. But bubble-wrapped kids don’t turn into self-confident problem solvers, and our world needs creative solutions from even the youngest observers.
So, how do we have important conversations with children about global challenges without increasing their anxiety? I think the answer is simple: Look to those who lead with hope.
How do you discuss with children the fact that over the past two decades 236 million kids under the age of 5 have died mostly from causes that are readily preventable and treatable? Tell them about Catalina Escobar in South America.
When we feel paralyzed in a world with so much tragedy, we should look to the empowering examples of those who lead with hope. The more informed we are about the people and organizations combating global problems, the easier it will be to have vital conversations about global issues with children. Let’s take our cue from those who are creating a more hopeful future not just for their own families, but for our entire global family.