Poverty is a complicated issue that can arise for a multitude of causes that are beyond the comprehension of young children. Even though the challenges of starvation and homelessness are complex, it is critical to talk to children about poverty.
Wrapping your arms around this topic may be challenging. You are a parent who doesn’t often worry about putting food on the table or providing a warm place for your child to sleep.
However, without a clear explanation, children may get confused as to why certain students receive free lunch at school or why a homeless person is begging for money.
They may also develop erroneous assumptions about those who live in poverty.
Poverty is a difficult concept to grasp. Even for adults, wrestling with the shifting nature of poverty is a monumental effort. So handling the subject with our children necessitates extra caution and intelligence.
Tips and ideas
Poverty is a difficult concept to grasp. Even for adults, wrestling with the shifting nature of poverty is a monumental effort, so handling the subject with our children necessitates extra caution and intelligence.
Parents, family, and instructors play an important role in modeling a response to global poverty. With these helpful hints, you may help children address poverty and brokenness with compassion and understanding.
Have age-appropriate conversations
When it comes to early exposure to poor people, the most serious risk is that your youngster will be disturbed. The problem is to tell the tales of those who are poor and their struggles without revealing potentially damaging facts.
Sharing specific information on human trafficking with your young children, for example, may cause unwarranted nervousness of being taken or subjected to violence.
It’s critical to understand your child’s present level of social and emotional development to avoid this. This will help you determine how much information you should disclose with them.
The extent to which we share depends on the child’s age as well as their personal and social development.
Use music, children’s stories, or drawings to get creative. Birthday celebrations are also used to demonstrate different cultures and worlds.
Prepare for difficult inquiries
Prepare for difficult inquiries: Children are unlikely to inquire about the state of the economy or regional policies. But they will likely inquire as to why certain children lack homes, food, or money.
You don’t need to know everything. But you should prepare for the topic by praying, researching, and discussing with family or partners.
Reading books is a good idea. There are several children’s books on poverty, such as Susie Poole’s Sister Lucy’s Great Big Family and Carole Boston Weatherford’s Dear Mr. Rosen Wald.
It’s fine if kids become emotional
The ability to create and develop empathy is one of the major benefits of exposing youngsters to the lives of those who are poor.
Empathy is a crucial component of good relationships. And it develops throughout childhood as children transition from an egocentric (self-centered) worldview to one that acknowledges the needs of others.
When children are exposed to the needs of individuals who live in poverty, they learn that their perspective of the world is not unique. This is a terrific tool for encouraging the development of empathy!
Don’t downplay your sadness about the circumstance during the conversation. This is an example of empathy, and it is OK for your child to experience sadness, anger, or other “bad” emotions in response to the predicament of others.
It is, nonetheless, beneficial to use these sensations as a springboard for finding hope.
Rather than providing a quick fix, recognize how your children are feeling and encourage them to use creative activities to manage their feelings. Try utilizing pictures or colors with young children to help them express their feelings.
Encourage children to take action
Have some action suggestions that you may recommend to aid those who are poor since your youngster will most likely want to make a difference.
Start a fresh bond with another sponsored child instead. Make the connection more personal by choosing a youngster who shares your child’s birthdate or name to strengthen their link.
Remind your children that they are making a difference in someone’s life who is poor. Above all, as they expand their awareness of poverty and hope, continue to listen to their inquiries.
Invite your child to write to your family’s sponsored child. Or set aside pocket money to send a special gift or contribute to a project to get them involved with child sponsorship!
Why Should You Discuss Poverty?
Your youngster will realize that some people do not have as much money as others at some point, and he will likely ask questions about it.
Some of your child’s classmates may be dealing with difficulties like food shortages and homelessness. Children who grow up in poverty may suffer long-term consequences. Poverty has the following effects on families:
- Educational issues — Children from low-income families have more difficulty learning and are less likely to continue their schooling.
- Behavior issues — Poverty harms a child’s social and emotional development. Children from low-income families are more prone to have behavioral issues.
- Physical health issues — Poverty in children is associated with a greater incidence of asthma, obesity, language development issues, and a higher risk of injury.
- Mental health issues — Poverty causes toxic stress, which increases the risk of psychiatric diseases.
- Reduced well-being — Poverty is the leading threat to children’s well-being, according to studies, and it can have lifelong implications.
To conclude, talking to your child about poverty may be an educational experience as well as an opportunity to create compassion for others.
Once your child has a better understanding of why certain people live in different ways, he may have more empathy for others who are poor.
Or, you can take your child to a charity organization for homeless, where he can grasp a better understanding of their situation and circumstances.
Rather than bringing up the subject of poverty out of nowhere, search for natural opportunities to do so. Then you can get into further detail about it.
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