Trauma then, trauma now.
Who remembers when the Challenger exploded? I do. I was 8 years old. It was awful. We learned about space in school and we were all so excited that a teacher was able to go to space! I have learned that what we actually saw was not actual “live footage” (which makes me question why we were shown the explosion at all and is partially the reason I wanted to write this post).
To me, the Challenger exploding was traumatic. I remember being terrified to ride on a plane after that, especially during the take off! I remember being afraid to go up a hill on a roller coaster. Going fast, going through a dark tunnel, even going upside down was not a big deal, but going up that first hill was terrifying! I was always thinking the cart would either explode or fall off the track.
Trauma is different for everyone, especially kids. Whether it’s a loss of a pet, a parent’s divorce, or a move out of state……these are big deals for kids. These are things that sometimes can be explained to kids, and kids can adapt.
Fast forward to 2015…. when you turn on the daily news, what do we see? Rapes, murders, people being beheaded and burned alive. If we were to turn the clock 25 years, that stuff would only be at the movies and late at night! Now, kids are hearing these things as they do homework at the kitchen table! At 5pm! These poor kids! I guarantee that if I heard about being burned alive or beheaded when I was 8 years old, I would have nightmares and would demand that my parents buy numerous fire extinguishers!
With all that being said, we as grown-ups need to be mindful of what kids hear and see. Kids cannot be sheltered and kids cannot live in a bubble, but do not think you are overbearing when you try to limit the harsh stuff. Childhood anxiety is on the rise. Could the constant exposure to such harsh realities be a significant factor? I am sure. The stuff they hear now, at such impressionable developmental years can have a lasting impact. For me, I still don’t like take-offs!