Talking About Parenting: Being there always for the children

Published 8:27 am Wednesday, February 21, 2018

By Chris Kovatch

I have wracked my brain on how to discuss with my children the violent events of the past several months that have occurred around the US.

I understand that we live in an imperfect world and unfortunately terrible things do happen. But is there a way to balance maintaining their innocence with preparing them with the reality of the world we live in? It is a fine line we walk and one that requires constant adaptation.

We constantly speak to the wisdom of the Golden Rule. It message is simple, but its impact is profound. Treat others the way you want to be treated. I truly believe this is the foundation for any change we expect to see.

I know there are varying schools of thought that explain the root cause of specific types of violence. I also realize that my thoughts are just my opinion. While I do have an educational basis for my thoughts, I am by no means an expert in this arena. However, in my life thus far I have found that sometimes the easiest explanation is also the one that makes the most sense.

If we can adjust the way we think as a society and build people up instead of tearing them down, I believe the results we would see would surprise us. Obviously, the problem is much more complicated than just this. But what would happen if we made a simple change as this?

We encounter problems daily that can end up affecting us in a negative manner. I let my kids know the things I am dealing with in a tone that is age appropriate. I want them to see that we experience a wide variety of issues on a quite regular basis. It’s not the problems that we encounter that define us, but rather how we react.

The ability to manage stress is necessary to navigate the path of life. I believe preparing kids for this is paramount to their development. We should also highlight the times we aren’t successful in managing stress. We do fail. That’s a fact. The key is to learn from that failure and to keep moving forward.

I want them to feel safe in the world we live in. I want them to know that I do everything within my power to guarantee that safety. I want them to know that the actions they make will influence their environment. I want them to know that they play a role in making the world a better place. I want them to take ownership for their failures and also know that work is required to achieve successful results. I want them also to realize that the world we live in rarely makes sense. Why are children abused? Why do school shootings happen? Why do bad things happen to good people? I wish there was a simple answer, but there isn’t.

With all the questions I have and all the uncertainty that exists, I want my kids to feel certain in a few things. I want them to know that I am here for them. I want them to know that they can talk with me about anything. This requires patience on my part and restraint not to jump to conclusions. That is something I definitely have to work on. But my kids are worth any sacrifice that needs to be made.

They are my world. I want them to know that.