A 7 Year Old’s Take on North Korea

kim jong-unNorth Korea has been terrifying to me for quite some time — actually, since the country started to terrify my now 16 year old when she learned about this very real threat in 7th grade Social Studies. The fear has increased of late because I don’t live under a rock. I force myself to turn off the news, because my impotency to protect my kids and my concern about the world they are inheriting could paralyze me if I let them. At the very least, I wish we could shelter them from even knowing about these frightening realities, but they too can’t breathe under a rock.

Shane and Charlie are seven. Shane is the serious thinker. Charlie is the happy, party guy. We were leaving for school and Shane started listing places he doesn’t want to go on vacation. “Antarctica because it is cold. Puerto Rico because they don’t have any power. North Korea because they are going to bomb us.”

Charlie checks in from whatever daydream he is having, “WHAT?!! Why would someone want to bomb US?”

Oh boy. We may be late for school.

I try to be factual, because I’ve learned this is the best way to deliver info to these little boys. “There is a ruler there, Kim Jong-un. He is a dictator which means he tells everyone what to do, and even tries to tell people how to think. He tells the people in his country to hate free countries like us. He thinks violence is a good option.”

I expect many follow up questions, but what I get is a hug-a-planet* response from Charlie.

“Aw. I feel bad for him. I bet he is just a really unhappy person. I bet all those people don’t like him because no one likes to be told what to do, and that makes him sad all the time.”

I immediately started googling military schools. Man, is this kid soft. Still, with all the great minds working on this problem, maybe Charlie has a point. Instead of finding a way to slip poison into his drink, maybe they should start slipping a little prozac into Jong-un’s morning coffee. A happy Kim might be less likely to send a nuclear missile our way.


*Hug-a-planet is a social building skill in second grade where you literally take turns hugging the world, even North Korea, and talk about your feelings. Don’t teachers rap knuckles with a ruler anymore?

Facebook Twitter Google Digg Reddit LinkedIn Pinterest StumbleUpon Email

Author: Karen Latimer

Dr. Latimer is a Family Physician and Wellness & Parenting Coach. She works with parents who want to feel more confident when helping their children and coaches young adults to help them better navigate college life and transitions. Contact her at drkarenlatimer@gmail.com to learn more. She is the author of two Audible Originals, Take Back the House -- Raising Happy Parents and Worry Less, Parent Better.


Sign up for our email newsletter