How to raise children in deeply troubling times

Why I refuse to shield my kids from the world's burdens

A child.
(Image credit: Lisa5201/iStock)

In the past few months, my children have asked me a series of questions that paint a heartbreaking picture of the world they will inherit. They asked if wildfires will burn down our house, why so many people live in tents in our city, if they'll get taken away from me and my husband like the kids at the border, and whether there will be any water left in the world when they're grown. (We live in California, where drought or near-drought conditions currently affect 93 percent of the population.)

Then there are all the horrors my kids don't even know to ask about. A former co-worker's niece was found murdered in Iowa. The president tweets us close to the edge of nuclear disaster. Colony Collapse Disorder among bees threatens our food supply. Coral reefs are dying. Sex trafficking.

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