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How to talk to your kids about the Mayan Prophecies

Submitted by on December 19, 2012 – 5:08 pmNo Comment

How to talk to your kids about the Mayan Prophecies

Since the beginning of the year, my kids have been asking questions about December 21, 2012 and if I think the world is going to end. As the conversation has come up this week, my quip has been, “Well if it does end, at least we will be together.” Now that may seem sarcastic but this is not our first conversation. I am not an expert in the Mayan Prophecies, but I am an expert in raising my children. No one knows them as well as I do and I can tell when their questions are serious, based in fear or just curious.

In this case, there was a great deal of speculation and curiosity more than any real fear. And in all truth, if the world does end, I can honestly say I spent this week (especially after the devastating events of last Friday in Connecticut) loving my  children and my husband and being grateful for every moment we have together.

In my experience, the easiest way to make your kids feel safe is to give them the facts and share your opinion and remind them it is your job to keep them safe and you will be there to take care of them. This article from Kids.usa.gov has some great information and insight if you would like more information to share with your kids.

How to Talk to Kids about the World Ending in 2012 Rumors

Rumors about the end of the world in 2012 have been around for some time. Many of these rumors involve the Mayan calendar ending in 2012, a comet causing catastrophic effects, a hidden planet sneaking up and colliding with us, and other various stories.

As we approach the December 21, 2012 prediction date, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) scientists want to reassure everyone that there is no evidence that the world will end on December 21, 2012, or anytime soon.

Unfortunately, these rumors not only have adults frightened, but NASA has been receiving messages from kids, because they believe something bad is going to happen.

It is up to us to reassure kids that the world is not ending and that nothing bad is going to happen. To be able to talk to your kids with confidence, it is important to understand what the rumors are and why they are not true. Here is NASA’s Frequently Asked Questions: Beyond 2012 Why the World Won’t End page.

Here are 2 videos from NASA debunking end-of-the-world rumors:

When talking to kids about these rumors or any fear they might have, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Take their fears seriously. Dismissing a fear with a quick “don’t be silly comment” or brushing it aside by telling them not to worry is not going to help. If your children express a fear, take time to sit down and discuss it. This sends the message that you are really listening and that your kids can always come to you and they will be taken seriously.
  2. Educate yourself about the topic of their fears. This allows you to speak confidently about the subject and give you the facts when discussing a rumor.
  3. Help your child research the rumor. If your child heard the rumor at school or saw something scary on the internet, sit down with him at the computer and help him to conduct his own research. Discuss the importance of finding credible sources for information and guide him to legitimate, authoritative resources.
  4. Take the fear off their plate. For younger children, sit down to discuss the child’s fear and then tell them, “Okay, from now on I will worry about this for you. You don’t have to worry about this anymore. I’ll look into it and I will let you know what I find out.” Make sure to check back with your child once you have researched the topic. Anticipate any questions he may have and plan your responses.

 

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