File puptcrit/puptcrit.0810, message 396


Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2008 13:18:25 -0400
To: puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] dealing with tragedy



On Oct 29, 2008, at 12:36 PM, Chris Griffith wrote:

> We've talked about child abuse, suicide, death, parents who don't love 
> their children, racism, sexism, addiction, you-name-it.  These kids 
> not only keep up with the conversation, they are 100% engaged in it 
> because it is what they see and experience daily.  And they are 
> teaching me, also, to not shy away from these issues.

  Generally speaking, I find that if you treat a subject (and its 
audience) with respect and intelligence you can go almost anywhere, 
even with children. I don't dumb down to their level (because often you 
will find you are the dumb one and not them), but neither do I delve 
further into it than they demonstrate they want to go, or burden things 
with too much information. In discussion it is fairly easy to ask kids 
why and what  they want to know about something, but you've go to be 
sure to answer their questions. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up 
in the (for lack of a better word) horror of such issues being dealt 
with at such young ages, and forget to get back to the answering part 
of the discussion. Even when they don't experience such horrors and 
tragedy first hand they are exposed to it on TV through commercials and 
programs, and video games.

   Far better to openly and honestly discuss things than to create 
secrets that they are going to want to discover the answers to. But 
that leads to another discussion for another time and place.

Christopher

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