In our current global climate, we are witnessing firsthand the impact of the violent conflict between Israel and Hamas on our children and youth. It’s a relentless storm of distressing news that has inevitably taken a toll on their mental health. As parents, educators, and mentors, we face an important question: How can we best respond to these troubling circumstances?
The recent escalation in Gaza is distressing, and it is only natural that our society’s institutions are wrestling with the right approach. However, we cannot afford to stand idle or adopt an attitude of letting the chips fall where they may. These times require us to act.
A mental health crisis already burdens our young ones. The last thing we should do is drag them into the cultural battle created by this major conflict. As adults, we may have formed our own opinions about the Israel-Hamas crisis, but we must resist the urge to impose these views on our children and youth.
Instead, our role should be to equip them with the tools to navigate the fears and anxieties that the constant media coverage of violence, terror, and death has stirred. We must bring clarity and hope to our children in these confusing times.
Start by engaging them in conversation. Ask them about their thoughts and feelings regarding the war. Don’t shy away from discussing even the most challenging topics, like suicide. Silence won’t protect them; it’s crucial to address their concerns head-on.
At Teach One to Lead One, we firmly believe that mentoring is beneficial and necessary. Engaging with children and youth, fostering conversation, and teaching them universal principles will provide them with stability and a sense of safety in these tumultuous times.
In an era where digital media is omni-present, we must teach our children to discern right from wrong. They need to understand that their phones or any other devices are tools, not teachers. Let us invest in preventive, healthy efforts and guide our children through these turbulent waters. Together, we can ensure a brighter future for them, no matter how stormy the present might seem.
The time is now to invest in mentoring. Let’s get ahead of the curve as we approach a new year that could be filled with hope and strength.