It's a big day in America, the Inauguration of our 45th President.
And since this election was so controversial and emotionally-loaded, Free Spirit Publishing asked me to write this post with suggestions for helping children who might be experiencing some uncomfortable or difficult feelings.
Because of the sensitive nature of the subject, I will freely admit I hesitated momentarily when they pitched the idea, wondering if maybe it was a little too controversial for me and not necessarily a topic I'd like to tackle. But only for a split second, because when I visited with one of my third-grade girls shortly after President Trump was elected to assuage her fears about a wall that might separate her from family members, her anxiety was palpable, those tears real.
So I agreed to write it, even though some might ask,
"Are you kidding me right now?"
or think to themselves,
"Our kids don't even care about the Inauguration."
Some might even say,
"It's the parents, not the kids, who need these suggestions."
And they might be right.
But as riots continue into the darkness of the night,
I'm super glad I did.
In an ideal world, we wouldn't need to worry about processing through tough emotions with these strategies,
but the truth of the matter is,
it's difficult to shield our children from current events,
so we do need them.
Even if we have the television turned off in our homes,
kids go to school with children who are plugged in,
who know things that are way beyond
their developmental age and stage.
And children talk.
Because they're curious.
And they want to know what's going on.
So they ask questions.
And sometimes they get misinformation.
Maybe yours won't; I sincerely hope that for you.
Please keep your children as far away
for as long as you possibly can.
Because they deserve a peace-filled, hopeful childhood
of wide-eyed wonder and innocence.
But if they do have questions
or are exposed somehow to the
tantrums of the people whom the media are showcasing,
I hope you'll find a way to calmly assure them
that they are safe and that we will be okay.
Ask them to come together for peace,
to pray for peace.
To be catalysts for peace.
Encourage them to be on the side of America,
our home of the free and the brave.
Maybe even use today as a teachable moment to find out
what cause they might consider a peaceful protest for.
What would their end goal be?
How would they make sure it stayed peaceful?
What might they do were it to start getting out of hand?
In the meantime, let's join Reba in song,
and Pray for Peace.