What In the World Is Going On…and What Are Our Kids Learning In The Process?
An exclusive feature by Bonnie Compton

The world seems to be spinning out of control.  The turmoil created by the pandemic, politics, climate…you name it have left many of us feeling lost, anxious, overwhelmed, frustrated and angry. Perhaps scared too!

What I’ve noticed over the past few years is the temperature rise on the emotional state of our country and the world.  All you have to do is turn on the news and you’ve been impacted by this heightened state.  When humans become stressed, hurt, or angry, we easily become overwhelmed.  Our survival mechanism kicks in. You know the fight-flight-freeze response. This is also when a part of our brain. which handles emotions. kicks in and all rational thought goes out the window.  We become impulsive and emotionally reactive.  We don’t stop and think before we speak.  Haven’t you ever been in a situation when you’ve become frustrated and angry, and opened your mouth before you thought things through? We all have, and chances are you regretted what you said.

Children are watching us every day. They are observing both our positive and negative behaviors and interactions. The trauma children have witnessed in recent times has had a huge impact on them, with potential long lasting effects. Research is already being conducted on the impact of Covid on the mental health of children. We also need to be concerned about the toxic energy that children are being exposed to. Adults attacking each other, either verbally or physically, the threat of school shootings, and other horrific events.   Even the active school shooter drills designed to protect children from harm have the potential to traumatize them.

What can we do as individuals to protect our children and grandchildren? Although many of us desperately want to see change in the world, we know we cannot do that alone.  However, what we can do is be mindful of what part we play in perpetuating emotional reactivity.

We can be mindful of our words and actions. We can set our intention to pause before we react. We can remind ourselves of Pema Chodron’s wise words

“Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.”

You have an opportunity and an obligation to show our children a better world.  We all do.

There is a song that I learned as a little girl…one which lyrics have stayed in my heart and mind throughout the years.

Let There Be Peace On Earth, And Let It Begin With Me….

We all have a choice how we show up each day. We can intentionally respond in a thoughtful way, or continue to emotionally react.

What will you choose?

*Bonnie Compton, APRN, BC, CPNP, is a child and adolescent therapist, parent coach, pediatric nurse practitioner and end of life doula, who lives in Charleston, SC with her husband.   Her expertise, tips, advice, and articles have been featured in The Washington Post, Parent Magazine, Working Mother, Grandparent Link, Mindful Parenting Magazine, and Lowcountry Parent Magazine. Driven by the core belief that it’s never too late to make positive changes in any family situation, Bonnie passionately shares her vision for Parenting with Courage through speaking, webinars, the media, and as host of her own podcast radio program Wholehearted Parenting Radio, available on iTunes, Web Talk Radio, Radioactive Broadcasting Network, and Stitcher Radio. She is a mom of four adult children and believes that being a mother has been her most important job: and loves being Gramma to her five beautiful granddaughters. Bonnie is also the author of Mothering with Courage, Available here!
Have a question or want to contact Bonnie?  843-718-1551, bonnie@bonniecompton.com