These things are absolutely critical to their development, their innocence, their ability to discern right from wrong, their sense of belief, the things they decide they want to do and possibly to their ability to love be loved and serve.
Parents be vigilant of the atmosphere you unintentionally allow by giving access to unrestricted information in your home. Make it a priority to limit and restrict social media in some cases, age restrictions on Netflix, tv, Hulu and the internet. We are sent home with these precious little persons with directions about feeding and changing them but be mindful that everything matters as we pour all that we are into them. Our intentions are beautiful and admirable but knowledge and understanding is what we must seek in this day.
Not all children are created equal in the ability to filter or retreat from consuming negative thoughts. Watch for signs of excessive dark thoughts in your children and teens.
It is hard for some to choose the expected good that try to have them embrace. When you also allow the counter argument in that breaths division, lack, want, strife, sadness, lust, pain and suffering. Let me be clear that I am not saying to isolate but be in the midst as a filter. “How should a child eat an elephant?” They shouldn’t for a while. At least util they have teeth. Make sure you are there to chew it a bit to allow understanding as they grow. The elephant is the collective thoughts will and emotions that are in the world outside.
How do you know your children are having dark thoughts?
- Ask them!
- During family devotionals or discussions, compare right from wrong in stories that you read with them. You may be amazed how they process information.
- Ask their teachers. Check with people in your community or circle who support you in raising them.
- Ask questions that get you the answers you need. What distracts them? What excites them? What do they fixate their gaze on? Who do they associate? How is their focus on the topic you teach? Are they kind and well mannered? What are there passions? We pride ourselves in know our kids but I am pretty sure we don’t know all the answers to these questions in that environment.
- Here are some sample questions you can tie to a game like checkers, dominos, jenga or any turn taking game that does not require conversation.
- Make sure you allow them to answer the questions in fact, fiction or creatively. It’s only to get at what stirs their emotion, what beliefs have they aligned and what would they do if given the opportunity.
- Are they consistently waking up with bad dreams, using hateful words, being unreasonable, in every encounter or most, alienating themselves, depressed or periods of prolonged sadness and may other things that does not feel right to you?
Seek help from your providers or spiritual leaders, counseling and grandparents to name a few. I don’t have the answers but if this resonate with you, please take action and don’t assume it will pass, which it may but take action.
Thanks for reading.