Wednesday, March 23, 2016

No news is good news

It's never good when the radio alarm goes off at the same time that the announcer is saying, "This is a CBS special report." It is a regular part of the routine lately, though. Today's special report was about the terrorism attacks in Belgium. Previously it was a special report about the terrorism attacks in Paris, riots in Ferguson, a mass murder in San Bernadino, a church shooting in Charleston, and the list could go on and on and on. 

I turned on the television for a few minutes just to learn what was happening. I turned it off and kept it off for the rest of the day. Once in a while I clicked on a new website for updates. Otherwise I listened to stored music. It isn't that I didn't care what happened, but experience has taught me that nothing good comes from watching the constant coverage. I also didn't want our girls to see any coverage. 

Even though the girls are moving towards adulthood at a faster pace than I would like, I think there are things they are too young to process. There are a lot of news stories they  hear about at school. I hadn't had a chance to talk to Daddy about whether or not we'd talk to the girls about the Sandy Hook massacre before they heard about it at school. They are well-versed with the controversies surrounding the current presidential primaries.

What they know is high-level stuff at a level we can discuss. They ask questions and we do our best to answer at a level that gives them a response without causing unnecessary stress. We want them to understand what is happening without creating too much fear. There is a delicate balance between providing information and creating panic. It's hard for adults to process what is happening. It's too much to expect the girls to do it.

I admit that not watching the news is strange. I was always a news junkie. It does feel like I'm going through withdrawal at times. I get the urge to turn on cable news to see what is happening, but I try to let it pass. I've learned that the less news I watch the better my general outlook. It's a delicate balance to make sure I know enough about what is happening in the world without creating overwhelming anxiety. I'm not sure I'm there, but I do know that turning off television news stations is a good first step.

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