I need advice as I’m feeling anxious about the future in these times when it seems uncertain. Also how do you explain these crazy things to a child? Online school, a deadly virus spreading, Americans violently attacking officers and tearing down statues … how do you teach good morals at a time like this?
Melina W., New York
You are certainly not alone. My first suggestion would be to spend time outdoors with your child. Nature is very soothing, and while immersed in it, you can feel and see that the natural order of things continues unchanged despite the upheaval in the world.
Concerning the unrest, several years ago, The Epoch Times began to look at how certain destructive ideas were gaining in popularity here in the West. These ideas have some clear parallels with those that fueled the Cultural Revolution in China in the late 1960s and early ’70s, and how the Chinese Communist Party has sought to purge traditional ways of thinking from society. As you are probably aware, there has been an increasing number of attacks in recent times against religion, the founding principles of America, and the Founders themselves. These attacks are made in the name of justice, progress, and equity. These ideas have been making the rounds in literary circles and academia for decades but have now gained enough popularity that people are emboldened to commit acts of violence and destruction. So, from this perspective, the upheaval we are seeing is a natural progression of these ideas. I would invite you or anyone who wants to better understand these ideas to check out “How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World,” which you can read at ReadEpoch.com/Specter.
So, how to explain this to your child? First of all, be alert to what they are learning in school. Online learning does offer a unique opportunity for this. If you find they are being taught questionable ideas, find a different school option. If your child is young (under 6), I would protect them as much as possible from current events and answer questions that do arise with a simple spiritual or moral answer like, “Sometimes, adults get angry and forget to be kind (or forget the love of God). That’s why, in our family, we try to always be kind and say sorry when we get angry.” If your child is older and asking questions, you could answer the questions with an explanation of human nature, such as that all humans have both good and evil within us and sometimes people let the bad win over.
Reading stories where the protagonists have or learn virtues and overcome evil is an important—and enjoyable!—way to help children understand right and wrong. You can look to classic children’s literature for this, and many religious schools have age-appropriate book lists online. With young children, you can read authentic fairy tales, which always have good and evil in them, and the good always wins.
Do you have a question for our advice columnist, Dear June? Whether it’s a frustrating family matter, a social etiquette issue, a minor annoyance, or a big life question, send it to DearJune@EpochTimes.com or Attn: Dear June, The Epoch Times, 229 W. 28th St., Floor 7, New York, NY 10001.
June Kellum is a married mother of two and longtime Epoch Times journalist covering family, relationships, and health topics.