CTO news

Communication and stressors are part of our environment everywhere all the time. In today’s world we have no choice about what is there, only choices about how well we communicate, how quickly we tune out poor communication (propaganda, speculation, lies, pandering, self serving sensationalism) and how well we manage the stress. Even though children do not realize it, communication makes the difference as to whether or not children can feel secure, not just be secure.

The happenings of nature as we look back on the last eighteen months are great cases in point. It is a dramatic list, filled with tragedy and sorrow, suffering and devastation: heat waves, droughts, record cold, tsunamis, earthquakes, nuclear reactor meltdowns, radiation warnings, volcanic eruptions, blizzards, floods, tropical storms and tornadoes. How these happenings were reported and how they were talked about made a great difference: those involved and those looking on or indirectly impacted experienced far less stress because the communication was realistic, honest and sincere. There were, in fact, very few surprises. We knew what was likely to happen. Afterward we knew what did happen and for the most part why it happened and how it happened.

When we stop being children we still want to get the news! Regarding responsibility for the people on your premises or in any way depending on you for safety and protection, the lesson is this: tell it straight, make sure to speak in ways that are age appropriate so that children hear it in terms they can grasp, and take plenty of questions. Of course bad news will be stressful, but hiding bad news will be far more stressful: we cannot cope with what we cannot see, hear, touch, recognize or anticipate. When communication is fudged our imaginations go wild, trust goes down, and stress goes up.

With children it is important to make sure they understand the message. When a news bulletin pops up on the screen indicating a tornado warning, for example, a child may not understand that the warning is for somewhere else. Children may think they are about to be flooded, blown away, or otherwise victimized by an event of nature when in fact they are perfectly safe.We live in an information age. So make sure children understand the communication!

Communication is the reason we have signs, phones and computers, as well as writing and speaking. Information, communication and stress are part of life. Communicate well and the stress will be less. For children this is all the more important. They mostly know what they are told about storms and the various other events of nature, such as forest fires and flooding. When we tell children in advance about storms that are approaching we are also communicating to them that we will tell them straight. That makes for trust. In the end, especially for children, trust trumps news of impending danger.

Comments are closed.

Categories