Amber and I are stumped. We are not exactly sure how the best way to approach a particular situation. It is one we suspect that most parents who have an 8-year old are faced with, even in the age of being constantly “plugged in.”
Kaitlyn is tuned in to the world around here. Maybe just a little too tuned in sometimes. I am not referring just to her knowing who the latest popular band is, or what show is all the rage for kids her age (if I were to ask, she would gladly tell me though). I am more referring to the world around her. Kaitlyn is extremely tuned in.
We first noticed it years ago, and as she has gotten older, no matter what steps we take to shield her from stuff, she still has her finger on the pulse of what is going on. And no, it is not because she is searching the internet for it; really and truly, it is because she pays attention to the news when it is on (how many kids her age do?), and then she makes sure to continue to follow things she feels are important. (We did make sure to keep the Sandy Hook shooting a few years ago from her, mostly because the kids affected were in first grade, just like she was at the time. We didn’t want her to be scared to go to school, and she would have been.)
Just this morning, before we left for summer camp, we had on the Today Show like we always do. Of course, the show led with the devastating news of the shooting at a church in Charleston, and Kaitlyn was intently watching the coverage. When I told her it was time to go, she told me that she was “tired of it all.” I asked her what she was tired of. She told me, “of all of the murders and stuff.” Heartbreaking. She then continued on that, because law enforcement officials were asking, she would keep an eye out for the person they were looking for, and she would alert someone if she spotted him. Unreal. The kicker was when she then started figuring out where officials should search for the shooter, basing her calculations off of her knowing were in South Carolina Charleston is, the time of the shooting (9:00pm), and the time it was then (about 7:15am); she figured they should look in South Carolina, maybe Georgia, North Carolina, and maybe Virginia.
Whether it is her reaction to a shooting in Charleston or ISIS (she noted back in September how she was concerned about their activities), Kaitlyn is really in tune with what is going on in the world. Perhaps she is a little too tuned in for a kid going into fourth grade.