One of the greatest challenges in parenting today is choosing how much to tell your kids. The internet is a funny thing because it passes on all these words, videos and lessons that you really wish you didn’t have to discuss with your kids until they were older. In this super-connected world that we live in it’s harder to know when something will come up and even harder to keep something quiet. We can’t hide everything from our kids because we can’t control what other people expose their kids to, so what’s a parent to do?
I’m all for stories like Santa, the boogie man and the stork. I think they play an interesting role in our lives and culture, and aren’t something we should stop for the sake of being real all the time. Simply because there’s a lot in the world that can’t be explained. But beyond that, sometimes the unvarnished whole truth is just too much for them.
It’s also our job to protect and nurture the next generation. I don’t want future generations thinking their only options are to lie, cheat, steal and kill, I want them to be empowered to be themselves and know the power of love and knowledge and to know that it’s more than OK to live in a peaceful world. I will always believe that love and kindness opens more doors than hate or violence.
So back to our question: what’s a parent to do in this super open and connected world? I don’t think the answer is complete and utter seclusion, that’s bad for us and our kids. I also don’t think denying things is the right answer. If your kid has a question about things it’s my hope they would feel comfortable and secure enough in your relationship with them to come to you with questions, or that they have an adult you trust in their life to answer those questions, and not to laugh them off as silly or irrelevant or impossible. The world isn’t planning on going backwards in communication and connectivity, so it’s time we learn how to work with what we do have.
“To keep a person ignorant is to place them in a cage.” Julian Assange