With the amount of bad news we see on television every single day, it’s not much of a surprise that we are living in a near constant state of fear. And what is this communicating to our children? It seems that every time we log on, or we put the television on, we’re seeing something that is making us more concerned about the world our children are growing up in, so finding ways to relax can be a massive task for us, let alone our kids! So, the one thing we can do is to teach your children to be more vigilant, but is this a good thing in the long run?
The Good Points
The importance of teaching your children vigilance can be equated to teaching them the importance of looking both ways when crossing the road. This is something we all have to learn, and so surely being vigilant is just another extension of this? And in teaching our children vigilance as another essential life skill, our children would consider this to be the norm.
Whereas most parents would have to acclimatize to this state of mind, children would just consider this to be a normal part of growing up, and, hopefully, without the psychological impact it would have on us. So with our children considering this a normal aspect of life, it makes them more safety conscious, more self-aware, and ultimately, a lot more sensible as people.
We’ve only to see the amount of personal injury attorneys working today to see how many accidents and injuries occur on a daily basis. And so if we taught our children the importance of vigilance as an extension of keeping safe, this should make them a more fully rounded person.
The Bad Points
The downsides of vigilance are more from the perspective of someone who has been a child some time ago, and has grown up without a care in the world. Depending on your age, you probably remember parts of your childhood is being fancy-free, so shouldn’t we let our children play, rather than wrapping them up in this metaphorical cotton wool?
Do we want to burden them with the horrible news we see every day? If we teach our children the best ways to be vigilant in case of something like a terror attack, isn’t this just the same as the baby boomer generation who were taught the duck and cover method in school? And if you speak to anyone of that generation, they will more than likely tell you they had a sense of fear that they lived with every day, and how it impacted their childhood.
Do we want to saddle our kids with the same feeling? If you look at the general anxieties that a lot of children have today anyway, do you think it’s a good idea to add to these anxieties? And this is another key point, children now are more likely to get depression and take medication for anxiety now than 20 years ago. So it can be argued that our children are going through enough already.
There are good and bad points to this, and ultimately you will teach your children what you feel is right, but the debate still rages on. The modern world is a scary place, and it is important to teach our children a way of coping with this world.