In those days, when I was about 10 or 11 years old, my family’s television set was still pretty new. I remember watching the McCarthy hearings and the comedians’ imitations of them. I sort of got the idea that “Communists” were bad but even that concept was mixed up in my 10 year old brain. I remember my Mom saying once that she was going to write to her congressman and I wondered why she would write to someone who was an enemy of America. Obviously, I got the two terms confused.
~History and Ordinary Lives, Inner Elder
It made me think about how, when we watch or read the news, we don't always explain what is happening to our children. We assume they won't understand or that they are too young to be troubled by world events. But even as I read my mother's story, I thought about times growing up when I was scared or depressed about something I heard on the news. I think I spent most of my teen years thinking I had no future because some hot-headed nation was sure to start a nuclear war and NY would be one of the first to go. It never occurred to me to talk about my fears.
I had a taste of this from the parent side recently, when the news ran a story about the world ending at 3am because the Large Hadron Collider was being turned on. This was very upsetting to Chase, and my husband and I had to spend some time calming him down about it. It is hard to avoid exposure to the news. In our age of information, I must remember that children do hear news and discussions. It is important to be aware that they don't always process the things they hear as we do. They need to know that we will always do our best to keep them safe.