If you’re raising kids today, it can be easy to focus on the negative. And it’s no wonder: Thanks to the 24-hour news cycle, social media, cell phone notifications — and even sources you wouldn’t expect, like Instagram and YouTube — kids are immersed in doom and gloom. Consider their world: The suicide rate is up, cyberbullying is rampant, the United States is more divided than ever, and people are now live-streaming murder and suicide. So it’s understandable if you don’t feel like putting on a happy face every day and keeping your kids optimistic about the future.
But don’t give up. Ironically, even though media and technology seem to be the cause of our collective pessimism, they’re also essential for overcoming it, either by using them wisely or knowing when to put them away. Here are six ways to find the silver lining in every cloud.
Put things in perspective
When tragedy strikes somewhere in the world, we relive it every time we turn on the TV, open our social media, check our phone notifications, or walk by a supermarket newsstand trumpeting a sensationalistic headline. Parents understand that the media amplifies things for eyeballs and clicks. But kids don’t necessarily get the relationships among sources, sponsors, and audience. How you respond to news makes a difference in how kids process it, too. Help your kids put things in perspective by explaining that the loudest voices capture the most listeners.
When you “right-size” things, it lessens kids’ fears and restores hope.