Why does my young child talk about killing and death? | Podcast Episode 302

“This morning we were reading a space book and [my three-year-old] was talking about how he was going to kill the astronauts. Aggressive talk really freaks me out.”

When one of the parents I mentor in the Ninja Parenting Community posted this recently, I knew that you might be hearing “aggressive talk” with your child as well.

Why DO kids seem to talk and think so much about death, and killing?

We get into that today, and I share 3 ways you can address what might seem an unhealthy obsession with the macabre.

Plus in Parenting News:
We discuss this recent Boston Globe article, about young schoolchildren not being given enough time to eat their lunch, the problems parents are seeing as a result, and what they are doing to try to make it better.

Also! I plan to be at an event that might interest you, if you can be at the Newton Community Farm in Newton Massachusetts on Saturday, November 9: A movie screening, and author signing!
Ken Danford, author of Learning is Natural, School is Optional, a book I am currently reading and loving, will be on hand to sign copies! And us attendees also get to see a movie about self-directed learning and how cool it is.
Hope to see you there! (Click here to sign up for the event : )

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Past editions have included remaining calm even if your kids are throwing dirt at each other, and helping when your child is frightened.
Useful stuff.
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Access the cheat sheet on the three ways to help when your child seems overly excited by death and killing; plus links to everything we talk about today, by clicking weturnedoutokay.com/302

Today’s episode is sponsored by the amazing Janine Halloran, expert in teaching kids coping skills, who has created a great resource to help your child handle it when the going gets tough!
Listen to today’s show to find out how to get 15% off your order, and then
Click copingskillsforkids.com/okay to check out Janine’s Coping Skills for Kids Cue Card Decks.

3 Ways to handle your child’s attraction to death and killing

1. Address it calmly.
This means understanding that, while it feels terrifying to us, kids don’t have the same conceptions of death or killing that we do. So calmly asking questions, and then answering them in a calm way, will help you get a sense of why they’re even asking. It will also help you be that trusted adult that your child needs when grappling with big issues.

2. Answer questions on their level.
Listening for their questions, and answering on their level – without going too far beyond their original question – helps them gain knowledge, and helps them feel safe.

3. Make your expectation be that your child is kind.
Even, adopt a mantra like “I’m raising a kind child.”
If we worry about our children growing up to be violent and aggressive (based on their interest in things like death and killing when they are very young), that can turn into an expectation that we do not want.
The worry becomes the expectation, which in turn becomes the reality.
Instead, choose the expectation for the result that you want.
Tell yourself “I’m raising a kind child;” now, the expectation is that your child is kind. Therefore, the result will be that you have a kind child.
It’s either a vicious, or a virtuous, cycle. Think carefully on which you want to see.


Key Links

Click here to join the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group, where this week’s Magic Words are all about how to help your child approach life with a resilient mindset.

Click here for Trevor Noah’s wonderful book, Born a Crime, which comes up in this episode.

Click here to see how Sesame Street handled it when beloved character Mr. Hooper passed away. (Watching it again I see how truly sad it is… And it is also truly beautiful.)


Need help staying sane while raising kiddos? Work with me!

If you need some extra help and support while encountering the challenges raising your children brings, work closely with me!
Go to weturnedoutokay.com/workwithme to find out more.