I am concerned.
Nearly 20 years ago, our world stopped. Life as we knew it no longer existed, and we struggled to accept the horrific, life-altering events of September 11, 2001. From the moment the first tower crumbled, shattering more lives than windows and altering the projection of countless families in a heartbeat, rarely was an adult conversation had that didn’t reference the tragedy, especially in the first year.
The connection between September 11th & the Coronavirus
As the news channel blared from the television set so lunch could still be made in the kitchen while mom listened to the latest 9-11 coverage and the reporters shared theories and dark, earth-shattering realities on the radio while dad changed the oil in his 1996 Dodge Ram, children were inundated with adult issues and worries.
This inundation of 9-11 news coverage and conversation ripped a piece of innocence from children one harrowing detail and report at a time. For many youths, the non-stop chatter about the events of 9-11 created worry and anxiety in places within their minds and hearts where only days before glitter and unicorns used to reside. Many of these children grew up to be fearful of planes and worse, stereotyping others for an event in which they have zero connection.
WARNING: History is on the cusp of repeating itself if we don’t act now.
Your children know more than you think
The night I decided to talk to my children about the coronavirus, a necessity since their school was shutting its doors to disinfect and to abide by the social distancing requirements the governor demanded, I sat in utter shock and disbelief as they took over the conversation.
From preschool-age to middle school, none of my children needed me to explain the coronavirus. Their teachers talked with them earlier that day and had determined the delivery of the message and the details the conversation included. Naturally, my children then talked with classmates and each other. By the time I decided to talk with them, they were telling me details about the coronavirus that I had not heard. My children, who I pride myself on protecting and who receive my tireless efforts to keep their lives as full of sunshine and laughter as possible, were schooling me on the coronavirus.
Lock their world down to protect their mental and emotional well-being
Children are a too-clever-for-their-own-good combination of sponges and chatterboxes. If you have school-aged children, odds are you weren’t given the opportunity to couch the coronavirus conversation as you deemed appropriate. That opportunity was taken from you. But here’s the good news: You control your child’s bubble now and along with it, the inpouring of outside information.
As the world continues its lock-down and self-quarantine glory, most states only support travel for food, health or if you’ve been deemed essential personnel. Your children are not going to workout facilities, restaurants, extracurriculars, other people’s houses, schools, or anywhere outside of your roof. Since parents and guardians are in charge of what happens under their roof, their utmost concern should be limiting their children’s access to coronavirus-related conversations.
Are your children within earshot? Do they have access to coronavirus-related social media posts, television, and/or radio? Make a gladiator effort to protect their minds from the anxiety, stress, and worry that we, as parents and/or guardians, are asked to live with right now. This is necessary if we want to learn from 9-11, in regards to how coverage of an event can permanently and detrimentally affect youth.
The toll if history repeats itself
If parents and/or guardians aren’t mindful of their youth’s access to coronavirus-related material, they risk their youth feeling a lifelong uneasiness about groups, a fear of germs that is debilitating, such as fearing the use of a public restroom handle for the rest of their lives, and a crippling fear of their own mortality that threatens to derail them from the pursuit of their best life and place them firmly on the track of safe and least resistance.
Children are only innocent for so long. The more we can do to limit their access and awareness of adult issues the better. This should be a time in their life when years from now they look back and recall the amazing time when schools closed, their mom making countless picnics in the living room and because their extracurriculars canceled and the world slowed down, the number of dinners around the family dining table, walks around the block, and blanket forts in the bedrooms. If we aren’t careful, youth will look back at this moment years from now and recall with vivid clarity the exact moment their obsession with germs and social distancing began.
Author: Evelyn Lindell
Certified Health & Wellness Coach
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