How to Talk to Your Kids about the Apocalypse, 2012 Doomsday Predictions and the End of the World
By Sylvia Cochran – Christian Parenting
Fox News Latino warns that talk about the Mayan doomsday prophecies worries children. Adding fuel to the fire are parents who buy into the 2012 doomsday predictions and go so far as to contemplate suicide. Even if your kids seem to take the (supposed) end of the world in a stride, the Christian parent should be proactive and have a few sit-down talks about apocalypse rumors. (By the way, this is also a good idea for non-Christian parents.)
Realize that your kids are not immune to fear
The “how” frequently takes a backseat when it becomes evident that your child is in desperate need of a good talking-to. Tree Hugger released the results of a phone survey and the numbers are concerning. One out of three children fears doomsday. Hispanic children are more fearful but African American kids are the most worried. Girls worry more than boys do.
Tip: Ask open-ended questions about your child’s fears. “What do you think about the Mayan prophecies” or “What do you think life will be like when you grow up” are two questions you might ask now.
Take a quick trip back in time
Remember when May 21, 2011 was heralded as the day that Jesus Christ would return? The day came but the Messiah did not. The 2011 doomsday prophet then amended his calculations and fixed another day, which also failed to materialize in a rapture of the faithful. This is just the most recent example of an end-of-the-world prediction that failed to come true, even though many people talked about it.
Tip: Do a thorough Internet search of similar incidents — Y2K comes to mind — and present them to your child as proof that doomsday-sayers are just part of the human tapestry. They will take science, bend it to fit their preconceived ideas, or let shaky Biblical math do the talking for them.
As a Christian parent, you have already taught your child that Jesus will be coming back someday. He talked about it in Mark 13:32. Even so, the son of God was quite clear in stating that neither he, nor angels or humans, knew when God would decree this event to occur.
Tip: Armed with this bit of scriptural knowledge, be sure to remind your child that Christ’s return is nothing to be feared. Instead, it is something to look forward to. Still, assuming that December 21, 2012 is the appointed day for the apocalypse is far-fetched (as are any other dates previously mentioned).
Look at Mayan record keeping and get a better understanding of the calendar used by the civilization. While you do not have to become an expert, you should be able to understand the subject matter sufficiently to explain it to the kids.
Tip: Explain how basic Mayan calendar systems worked. Children will eventually understand that just like the wall calendar, which you replace every January, the Mayans replaced their calendars every so often. The ending Mayan calendar does not foretell the end of the world any more than your kitchen calendar that ends on December 31.
Oh come on, my kids are smart enough to know this doomsday stuff is just talk,
Maybe; maybe not. Fox News Latino reports of teen suicides attributed to the fear of doomsday 2012 predictions. Where do your children get their emotional security and ability to discern between hype and reality — if not from you? If they are older and turn on the TV (or surf the Internet), they are likely bombarded with speculation over the Mayan calendar and assorted theories. Make the time to talk to your kids about this issue and the end of the world in general. Only then can you be certain that you have given her the tools she needs to dismiss hype.
Fox News Latino: “Mayan End of World Hype is Causing Real Fear Among Children” at http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/lifestyle/2012/06/12/mayan-end-world-prediction-is-frightening-children/
Tree Hugger: “No Kidding, One in Three Children Fear Earth Apocalypse” at http://www.treehugger.com/culture/no-kidding-one-in-three-children-fear-earth-apocalypse.html
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