Friday, November 20, 2015


In light of recent happenings and events in the world, this word has been on my mind as I think of children.  My thoughts are on our children and those who live in the areas that are bombarded with hatred.    I see the courage these children have on a constant basis.  Going to bed at night, some looking for food for their families, others watch friends and family die, some are dealing with death in their “peaceful” countries.  
I believe OUR children need to learn this word, COURAGE.   They may never have to deal with a war torn country (we hope, we pray) but it is around their world constantly.   Technology shows us what is happening all over the word in an instant!  We all know this.   Some of our children see this and don’t understand where these events are happening and it causes great anxiety and fear.
We need to shield our younger children as much as possible.   These little ones aren’t reading the news or going on the internet, but they see and they hear.  I learned this a few years ago when there were devastating floods in our area.  I had picked up some of my grandchildren that very day to stay with us for a week.  It was all over the radio and tv.   We watched the news all day.  As adults we are aware that often the same event is shown over and over on the news.   To my grandchildren, as they heard it while playing or saw it on tv, they thought it was happening all over again.  Every time they saw a broadcast of the floods, it was new to them.  Turn off the tv, or watch when they aren’t around.
The same thing happens when we watch events all over the world.  It may be the same event, but to young children this is happening again and again.  
Children who are in school are going to hear and see things.  They may even study these events.  This can frighten some children.  Teenagers, of course, know what is going on and there are those that are afraid (although they may not express this).
Communicate with your children.  Watch their expressions, the things they say and even the things they don’t say.    LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN to them.
I would like to add another suggestion:
We need to teach our children to have courage; courage in the words they use, courage to stand up for that which they believe, courage to face another day, and courage to look at the good in the world.  They need to have courage on the playground, courage in their families, courage in the schools, courage in their workplace, courage on the sports field, and courage in the world.
This starts with telling them what courage means.  Talk about the word often, point out times they had courage, read books, tell them stories of courageous people (including yourself).  Children may surprise you at some point how courageous they can be.  One of our young grandchildren stood up to a bully who was picking on a friend with a disability.  That is COURAGE.  If they learn courage in their little world, it is easier to have courage in the big world.  When children feel courageous they will have power within themselves; power to change the world, power to stand up to those that are mean or evil, power to do what it right.
Model courage yourself.  Be a change in the way people talk about others.  Have courage to say something when you see someone who is not being treated fairly.  Have an attitude of courage.
Having courage, even just an understanding of the word, gives our children hope in whatever circumstances they are in.   It gives them power to handle the situations they see in this world.  For some children, it gives them life.

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