Monday, January 28, 2008
The inner life of your kids
…Your children may not be all about the latest video game or spelling test.
…Even absent huge dislocators like divorce, kids these days may be hearing the word “recession,” worrying about money, or wondering why parents are stressed.
…A new poll at Kid’s Health (kidshealth.org) asked 1,154 children from 9 to 13 how much they worry and what they worry about.
…86% say they worry “almost all the time” or “a lot” about the health of someone they love. Coming in next are school work, tests or grades at 77%, their future at 76%, and their looks at 63%.
…Only 25% worry about war or terrorism as number 1.
…Most kids do not talk about worrying about the health of a loved one. In fact, less than a quarter talk to parents about any worries.
…Parents need to take the lead, it seems. Tune into school concerns, listen. Be careful when talking about your own health.
…Parents also should provide factual information and reassure kids that their worries are natural.
…Above all, be a good role model.
…Kids can misinterpret things. They can think, for example, that because you are fighting, you are getting divorced.
…They are operating only on partial information in almost all cases—and almost always, without context or the benefit of perspective.
…Look at everything from their point of view.
...And you'll get a lollipop.