As an adoptive parent-and a new one at that- I’ve had a steep learning curve. I’ve had to be willing to be unpopular with both my kids and (if need be) their friends.
All children are bombarded with negative messages from all media- including music and video games.
Because our children are adopted, they have extra sensitivities to many things that birth parents aren’t aware of and would have no reason to.
There’s one thing I’ve learned tho- all children at all ages are susceptible to all those negative messages hidden in music and video games.
I’m a lesbian, so no I’m not a religious nut. As a Developmental Trauma survivor, I am, however, keenly aware of how the unconscious mind works and how to change it, reach it and shift it. I teach Meditation systems to adults and children to help shift out of negative self-image and negative self- talk.
The children who need this the most, are the kids who are already self-harming through cutting or other negative self-harming activities. Cutting is a stress-relief. Kids who cut are super-stressed and completely misunderstood.
Here are some suggestions I have based on real-world experience. Although neither of our kids cut, they certainly have had other challenges. Everything I’m suggesting here, we do:
- Pay attention to your kids’ music choices and help them remove all negative or confusing songs from their playlist- READ THE LYRICS!! This can easily be done online. Every single genre of music-including rap and metal- have songs with meaningful and empowering lyrics. Do NOT listen to adult music with your kids- they won’t understand and you are not helping them in any way.
- Lose the shooter games. To me this is self-evident, but because we have a child who was abused as an infant and toddler we are more aware than most people how dark and aggressive games are damaging to children’s minds. There are millions and millions of games that are interesting, fun, silly and stimulating that are NOT violent, aggressive or negative. Do your homework. If you have a child already suffering with some form of anxiety, they NEED Positive loving messages.
- Use commonsensemedia.com before taking your kid to the movies. Pay attention to the messages.
- Limit recreational screen time and supervise screen time that is homework-related. My partner and I are total hard-asses when it comes to protecting our children’s minds. We do ZERO recreational screen time during the week. Only weekends and holidays.
- Learn a Positive Meditation system that uses Neurolingustic Programming so that as your kids are getting ready for bed, their bodies begin to relax and they start to feel safe as they drift off to sleep. This will make a HUGE difference in terms of limiting nightmares and improving quality of sleep
- Limit sugar- yes I said it. If your child is anxious, sugar and caffeine will keep them in a state of “fight or flight”. Especially if they are upset- do NOT add to it by soothing with sugar- use a protein snack like cheese. Save the ice cream for a weekend day or afternoon, when the kids are at the park or can “play it off”
I want so much for enough families to turn away from games like “fortnight” that are specifically and evilly target young children and making violence a fun game for them. Violence isn’t fun.