It all started because I love watching The World News. My kids peeped in on it from time to time as I am cooking in the kitchen or folding laundry. They are drawn to the stories and ask questions about what they see. Somehow it unfolded to my kids joining me for extra special time at night to watch the show. My son is in and out with your typical 5-year-old interest. But my daughter seems to want to know what is happening in this world and I jumped on the chance to show her…. We have now been watching the World News almost every night together for over a year. It has been an experience that I believe has deepened her intellect and enhanced her perception in a new way as she now sees the world as bigger than her own, and knows the world is filled with pain and joy. She watched Haiti suffer devastation from the earthquake, Japan crumble from the tsunami, and countries celebrate their newfound freedom as they fight their captivity of unjust rulers. She has seen famine, celebrations, and political debates. She knows who Khadafi is and understands what it means to vote for our leaders in a democracy. She has seen war torn countries with soldiers fighting for the life of other people and the life of a nation. (NOT the brutal stuff though….I fast forward when I need to….I’m not that crazy!)
She loves watching The World News with me. I know part of the enjoyment is the special time we sit together and talk about each segment after we pause the show and she asks what it all means. It’s more than just special “mommy time” though. I think she has the desire to know the world we live in and what’s going on in it. She soaks it up, takes it in, and asks a hundred questions that are both filled with concern and curiosity. I believe this gives her a better “child perspective” because it opens her eyes to the bigger picture instead of the “right in front of her” vision. She may not get it all, and I certainly don’t expect her to! I want to give her a ‘supervised view’ into what it means to live in this country and how it looks outside of it. Her newfound perspective gives her gratitude every day for all our rights and liberties. She can realize how precious our values are and how huge our resources are in this country. It’s “grown up stuff”, but when I edit and adapt each story covered on the show….it becomes real to her. The story is not just a story. She is at an age where she gets that. Of course, the segments on brutal murders or sex scandals and crimes are out of the question. But the reality is that most of the insidious horror stories seem to be on the local news. Once in a while I need to fast forward through what I call the “stupid” news, but for the most part, The World News is a global window filled with interesting facts and records of all that we should know about each corner of our earth.
I figure the world is out there and it’s gonna get to her someway and somehow. I would like to be the one to show it to her and help her understand it with love and diligent care and caution. It’s an education that I find valuable, significant, and worthy of our time. In this process, I hope to instill a compassion and an awareness that there is a beautiful and ugly world that she lives in. And maybe it will make her small and vulnerable piece of it a little bit stronger and a lot more able to live in it. My son hops in and out and watches and asks questions as well. He too, will be sitting every day with her for the entirety of it some day and learning just the same. Some moms might squirm at the thought of their children learning about things that aren’t ‘kid-proofed’….but I say I will protect them with exposure.
PS….. Brian Williams ain’t so bad to look at either! 😉