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What About the Kids? Conversations on Parenting in Dark Times


What About the Kids? Conversations on Parenting in Dark Times

Elizabeth West

For many of us, it is insanely difficult to wrap our hearts and minds around the prospects which lie ahead for humanity. The list of potential calamities is long and varied, and the scenarios that rise to the top of the ‘most probable today’ column shift all the time. Are we looking at full-blown nuclear war, or will it ‘just’ be Fukushima cesium making its way into our food and water? Could it be rising acidified oceans, unpredictable weather fueled by hotter seas, or maybe a methane ‘burp’ that leads to an abrupt end to agriculture?


Yowza! An article like this can make you wonder if we'd all be better off if we'd just stop reproducing. Especially for the planet.


How about this?.....quit dumping your adult concerns on your young children. No wonder kids these days are sometimes emotionally insecure basket cases. Sheesh.


I believe that would be "#3. Never impose your personal truths."


I agree completely. I have an adult child but if I were a young person today, I definitely would not have children. Why would you bring someone you would love more than life itself into the hell we are heading into?


Wake up, sir. These are NOT only adult concerns. Children are part of all that is unfolding here; they perceive it all for themselves. They deserve the respect this honest, wise and courageous writer offers. They deserve it from every one of us.


Is this the first moment you've considered that the Earth is experiencing vast and unpredictable changes that might make things tougher for the coming generations? The first time you've considered that we might have a responsibility to be present with the young as they navigate this unprecedented set of circumstances? Or the first time you considered that continuing to reproduce ourselves at the expense of mass extinction of our other relations might not be a wise or kind long term approach?

Perhaps you are barely grown yourself, and had the dubious luxury of a childhood that deprived you of opportunities to encounter such truths directly?

In any case, I hope you are not suggesting that because these facts are difficult, they must not be true. There seems to be a lot of that going around these days....

If you're genuinely new to this reality--and everyone is a beginner here to some extent--welcome! I hope you won't be deterred by the pain of the Truth. For with experience, we learn that it sustains and heals even when it hurts.


Thank you thank you thank you, Elizabeth West!