What else is there to say about some of the garbage events that have been in the news lately? It makes me want to throw my phone (my source of news information) out the window and snuggle my young son for the next five to seven years (stopping only for food and bathroom breaks because priorities). Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, life (and my son) requires more from me than just my amazing snuggle powers, so I’ve been forced find ways to stay hopeful for my kid when I'm watching the news see the world as nothing more than a dumpster fire. I mean, I just can't help but feel like every other headline is about violence, racism, sexism, sexual assault or corruption. Oh, and global warming. Can't forget global warming.
I think every parent that pays even an ounce of attention to the news, can't help but feel (at least once) like they made a mistake, bringing an innocent child into a world that seems so cruel and chaotic. I have had that feeling more than once, only to feel guilty for said feeling because, no matter how horrific the world might seem, my kid is a source of light and happiness that makes every anxious feeling I have about the future seem manageable and even, at times, silly. The truth is, I doubt there's ever been a generation that hasn't been afraid for their children, and that realization only solidifies the inescapable fact that I need to remain hopeful, optimistic and strong for my son. I can feel very valid feelings of fear, to be sure, but I must also force myself to feel like things will only get better; partly because my son is in the world and, well, I believe they truly will.
Of course, if the fear and anxiety you're experiencing becomes detrimental, don’t settle for this list of ways to remain hopeful for your little; make sure you take care of yourself and check in with a mental health professional (I’ve been there, too). However, if what you need is a quick shake of the shoulders and proverbial cheek slap of joy, you can try these 15 ways to stay hopeful for your kid.
Videos And GIFs Of Animals Being Cute
Nothing solves problems like a dose of digital fuzz. I've got a few saved just for such an occasion.
Videos And GIFs Of Kids Being Cute
They can be your kids. They can be someone else's kids. It doesn't really matter, the point is that you bask in some squee-worthy youthful innocence.
Videos And GIFs Of Kids AND Animals Being Cute
Okay, don't say I didn't warn you, but your heart might explode if you peruse this genre for too long. However, perhaps that's preferred to feeling down about the state of the world? You do you.
Facebook Accounts Of The Elderly
Wait, what? Who said that? Okay, I know that, on the surface, this might appear like a weird suggestion. But does anyone else have an older relative who likes to post updates about sweet things like grandchildren and their latest batch of zucchini bread? Because if that's not heart-warming, I don't know what is.
Disney Movie Marathons
However, if you're feeling particularly vulnerable, make sure you skip pass the opening montage of Up, and the first ten minutes of any classic Disney favorite because death and/or a tragic curse will probably make an appearance.
Aimless Strolling Through A Bookstore
Bookstores are like time-traveling. Where else can you visit the entertainment forms of yesteryear, of a simpler time when you didn't have horrible internet headlines shouting at you every time you try to check your email? (I mean, aside from a library or any bookshelves you might have in your own home).
Rambunctious Playtime With Your Kid
It won't be long now before my young son starts to notice the somewhat regular routine of mom looking frustrated, then immediately offering him a piggyback ride.
A Perusal Of Family Photos
Especially the adorable, spontaneous ones of your kids doing ridiculously cute things. Bonus points if you captured videos, too.
Pleasant Things That Float In The Air, Like Bubbles Or Confetti Or Glitter
Ah, what's better than blowing bubbles with a young kid? It's easy. It's simple. It makes bath time even easier because they will already be covered in soap. Everyone wins!
I mean, I don't have much experience with this one, but maybe you do? I hear it can do wonders for people. I also suggest giving it a shot when your kid is napping, otherwise this might be an exercise in futility.
Write Your Future Kid A Letter
I keep meaning to do this and have yet to fully embrace the practice. It's going to include a little bit of life advice, a few stories, and embarrassing things his dad has said that he'll understand when he's older.
Nothing seems quite as bad when you're basking in sunshine, looking at trees and clouds. Trust me.
Surround Yourself With Pajamas
My son still has a while before he grows out of the generous supply of footie pajamas we keep on hand, so in the meantime, I'm trying to enjoy it while I can. The cuteness is enough to distract from anywhere else my mind may consider drifting to.
There's no better way to feel hopeful about the world, than actually adding to the good in it. I guarantee you, when you go volunteer at a food kitchen or a homeless shelter or just go out into your community and make it better through action, you'll feel like the world really and truly is getting better. You're also teaching your kid that you can make a positive change, and that's a bad ass lesson to learn.
If All Else Fails, Just Squeeze Your Kid
That reminds me, I need to go. I have something I have to go do with my son right now.