FoF: Sex, Drugs, and Kim Jong-Underpants

dad2summitFatherhood on Friday

Talking to kids about war

If your kids have access to the Internet, or television, or have any semblance of a social life beyond living in a pillow fort in the basement, they’ve likely heard something about a man named Kim and his big ol’ bombs. This has possibly made them uncomfortable and curious, or possibly inspired them to move into a pillow fort in the basement. The trick to all of this is finding a way to remain the source of reassurance and reason that they need, even when you’re contemplating using the sofa cushions to build a pillow fort annex.

If your kids are young, you might get away with making a few “Kim Jong-Underpants” jokes and calling it a day. But if they’re a little older, you know you don’t have a whole lot more information than they do. What you do have, however, is 1) a fully formed brain, and 2) the benefit of the longview, knowing that our country has endured this sort of nonsensical fearmongering before:

When you become a parent, you know going in that having Talks with your kids about certain discomfiting subjects—like sex, drugs, death, racism, gerrymandering, and why the Kardashians are famous—is inevitable. However much you may dread discussing them, you know that if you don’t, someone else will fill the void. At least by taking the lead, offering honesty and comfort, we become something of an authority, hopefully overriding what they experience elsewhere. And that’s our point: There will always be big conversations with our kids, and teaching them to stay informed, consume media discerningly, and recognize empty rhetoric is just one (or three?) of them.

While parsing these current events may be new to us, adversity isn’t new to America. Our country has faced fears before and risen above them. We like to think that cooler heads will prevail now, too. And that’s what we’ll be talking about with our kids. Because when they ask how exactly drapes can protect you from nuclear fallout, what else can you say?


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