How to Talk to Your Kids About Aliens…Seriously.

It may seem like a ridiculous topic, and I have to admit that I chuckled a little as I typed the title, but it’s becoming more and more a truly necessary topic of discussion. Not only does every day present increased evidence towards something being up there, but the media our kids consume is constantly filled with aliens, most of whom are usually angry, blaster-toting malignant beings hell bent on blasting this planet to pieces.

Yeah, you need to have a talk with your little one, and I’ll cover how to start.

I Want to Believe

Some full disclosure before I continue: I truly believe in the existence of intelligent, sentient beings.  It seems almost stubbornly egotistical to try to deny that out of the billions upon trillions of planets that potentially exist in this universe, that we would be the only advanced civilization.  That’s a sentiment most people share.  Where I may veer a little off is in the belief that we actually have been visited and contacted by these beings.  We’re in an age where it’s slowly fading from the ridiculous to the undeniable.  For some who are reading this, you may be grinning at the sheer circus act of all of this, but if you stop to think about what the reality of this means (should we, one day, universally accept presented evidence as fact), then it no longer is a tin foil punchline, and becomes a moment for your child to turn to you for guidance.

When my son first came to me with the question, he was about 5 years old, and had seen Star Wars for the first time, as well as a cartoon called Ben 10, in which a 10 year old boy can turn into different aliens.  He said, simply, “Dad, are there real aliens?”  To which, without hesitation, I said, “Yes, they are.”  That was a mistake.  Yes, I do believe they are real, but there are better ways to answer.  And, looking at my wife after I answered his question, I realized I didn’t choose the best way.

She quickly swooped in and explained that “some people” believe in aliens.  This is also the wrong way to approach it, simply because it then falls into the same space as religion and spiritual belief.  Religion can exist in the “some people believe” realm, because we can all have different faiths, and never worry that my particular belief may someday be scientifically proven false, when compared to another’s; however, the same is not true for the existence of other-worldly beings.  There will come a  day when one group of beliefs (whether for or against their existence) will be scientifically proven.  Neither the direct, like a punch-in-the-stomach approach, nor the spiritual, “some people believe” approach works.  So, what does?

Educate Yourself

First, you must educate yourself on what the latest evidence shows.  Whether your believe or not, the question will be asked of you by your child, and as their guide through life, we should not simply force our preconceived ideas on our children.  Know the evidence, and share with your child.

One book I highly suggest reading is Messages by Stan Romanek.  This is an extremely detailed, highly cited book on one man’s discovery that he may be an abductee.  It stands as the most documented case of alien abductions, complete with photos, thousands of eye witnesses, psychologist evaluations, physicist reviews of equations, and even video:

You should also look into what books or television programs exist on official documentation of encounters and sightings of UFOs.  One fantastic book is The Day After Roswell by Col. Philip J. Corso.  In this book, the retired Colonel provides some unsettlingly irrefutable evidence about the truth of the crash at Roswell on July 4th, 1947.  He also covers in detail how modern technology jumped leaps-and-bounds due to this discovery.

No matter where you go to research, just do it.  Don’t fill your child’s mind with just your opinions of what you believe.  Sure, it’s okay to have your opinion, and express it to your child, but you don’t want to do what I did.  Saying, “yes, they exist,” or, “no, they don’t,” doesn’t provide your child with any more of an answer than they had before they spoke with you.

Share Certain Evidence With Your Child

Now that you’ve done your research, what do you do with it?  You share.  Share with your child a picture that you found of a supposed UFO.  Discuss what you think it might be.  Remember, not all photos of UFOs are real; in fact, an overwhelming majority of them are fake.  Look at ones that are fake, and use this as an opportunity to not only discuss the concept of aliens, but also teach your child the invaluable skill of evaluation.

There is some evidence you may not want to share.  For instance, my son has not seen the video embedded above.  It would simply be too much for him.  But, we did just complete a camping trip to Roswell, NM this past summer, and went to the UFO Museum and Research Center, and he loved it.  We looked at pictures, models, dioramas, and discussed everything from the probable to the absurd.  It was a great moment for him to see aliens out from behind the Saturday Morning Cartoon veil.

Allow your child to ask questions about what they’re seeing, and most importantly, allow them to start forming their own opinion.  It’s very important that they begin to formulate the answer for themselves, instead of you giving them an answer that they will undoubtedly agree with you on, simply because you are the all-knowing parent.  Kids will believe what their parents tell them, and also feel at that age that they must be just like their parents.  This is a prime opportunity for your child to start forming their own opinions.

Make Your Opinion Clear

It may seem contradictory to what I’ve said so far, but always being honest with a child is the best approach, and, that means being honest with them in what you believe.  After talking with them about the evidence, and allowing their own answer to start to sink in, share with them your thoughts.  That goes for whether your believe, or not.

I’ve made my beliefs known, so there’s no need to track over that again; however, what I haven’t shared with you is my son’s belief.  He has stated that he believes in aliens, but he doesn’t think they’re visiting us.  Even after visiting the museum and seeing what I consider to be irrefutable evidence, he still states that we have yet to be visited by aliens.

Now, part of this conclusion could be him feeling a little scared of the idea of aliens; but, again, that is not due to the exposure to evidence, but due to his exposure to media that portray the aliens as harsh, evil beings.  Will he eventually believe they are visiting us?  Perhaps, but that’s not what’s important.  What’s important is that he and I are able to discuss it as a scientific possibility, and not like it’s the Boogie Man, which is the topic of my next post.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: