Oftentimes parents and caregivers want to protect children from the world around them. Protect them from topics such as body image, sex, sexual pleasure, and more. Why? Because we often think that bringing these things up will make them start thinking about it. But the thing is if your child has friends or access to media they are already thinking about it. Our children are already exposed to these topics. Instead of trying to protect them from the world, I want you to sit in a position of giving children the tools they need and most importantly, this #1 tool to help children better understand the world.
How are children exposed to these topics already? It is shown on TV commercials, on YouTube ads, in social media, through friends, and while playing video games.
What can we do? We can teach our children the important tool of being a critical thinker. To question everything and not take it as is, as truth all the time. To question and be curious about the opinions and ideas of things they hear.
How do we teach them this? Ask questions, question things as much as possible. For example, when watching an ad that depicts body image or dieting ask your child “isn’t that curious?”. Get curious with your child and wonder why that ad is showing up on a kids channel, find out what they know or have heard about, challenge those things. And most importantly, empower them to question things as much as possible.
When we teach our kids these critical thinking skills, we are empowering them to think twice when we aren’t around and that’s a pretty powerful protection tool.
Have a wonderful day & have fun questioning the world around you!