Lydster: terrible news reported every day

“Although you may try to avoid having your children see upsetting reports about violence or natural disasters, you can’t always be successful.”

When 17 people were killed at a Parkland, Florida high school on Valentine’s Day/Ash Wednesday 2018, the Daughter was understandably upset. She had unfortunately seen many stories like this in the past five years or so, when she started watching the news.

Interestingly, she also felt empowered by the protests since that event. Moreover, she’s participated in a couple herself. I’d say that I have no idea where she got this activism streak, but I suppose that would be a lie.

Still, she felt really terrible after the May 18 killing of 10 at a school in Santa Fe, Texas.

Terrible as in scared; I understand that. My wife, who is a schoolteacher, CERTAINLY understands that.

But, I think, it was also a function of disappointment, that her actions, and the activities of millions of children across the country ended up with the same old results.

Goodness knows that I get THAT. When you fight against racism and war and poverty and violence, and racism, war, poverty, and violence remain, it is easy to become discouraged that the efforts are pointless, or one hasn’t done enough.

Now, the Daughter received The Triple C Award at her moving up ceremony this month, given “to students by the New York State Attorney General’s Office,” which “celebrates students who display courage, character and commitment in their daily lives at home and in school.”

Still, USA.gov sent out this email after Santa Fe: “Tragic news is reported every day. Sometimes these events can cause distress to people of all ages. Although you may try to avoid having your children see upsetting reports about violence or natural disasters, you can’t always be successful. Use these resources to help you navigate a difficult conversation:

“Learn how children perceive the news and how to talk to them about what they see with these tips from KidsHealth.
Call SAMHSA’s DistressLine for immediate crisis counseling. If you or your child needs support, call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs”to 66746 for help 24/7 in English, Spanish, and for those with hearing disabilities.

From the former resource: “If older kids are bothered by a story, help them cope with these fears. An adult’s willingness to listen sends a powerful message.” I must say that my wife picked up on the Daughter’s distress after Santa Fe more quickly than I.

In the midst of the chaos, we have to remember to be good to each other.