Articles Comments

ParentingPanicButton » Uncategorized » A response to the massacre at a grammar school in Connecticut

A response to the massacre at a grammar school in Connecticut

Why does it take an unthinkable, horrific tragedy to put things in perspective?

Everyday challenges and struggles are our usual drama.  In parenting children, pre- teens and teens, we rarely encounter a day that is not filled with frustrating issues, incidents and difficult decisions. They seem big.  We make them big.  We make them huge.  We treat them as if our lives depend on their resolution.  We spar, bicker and argue.  We criticize and blame each other and try to make sense of the constant   trials and tribulations of parenting.

We worry about finances, fearfully anticipate the cost of an unexpected car repair.

We struggle with the eventuality of how we are going to pay for our teen’s college education. We multitask until we don’t know up from down, forward from backwards, right from left.  And all the while, we miss the little things that really matter.

Today, parents who routinely see their children off to school in a hurried and agitated way are seeing them off with a tender and deep goodbye.  Putting down smart phones, newspapers and lists for the day, they are pausing for a meaningful hug and a timeless moment.  Children are saying “Bye mom, I love you” with genuine intention rather than meaningless, repetitive cliché.  Parents and children are looking at each other with earnest and deep-felt love, realizing that one can never know whether it is a last good-bye.  “Thanks for everything you do, dad” is an anthem of the day.

Parents of teens who have been ignoring or looking the other way from their children’s signs of distress and trouble are taking a second look.  We are putting aside our narcissistic obsessions with our own daily distractions, and refocusing our mindful intentions on the needs and communications of the children we brought into this world to love, nurture and support.

How can we begin to heal the deep, scarring wound of a massacre of children and their teachers?  How can we find meaning?  Is there a lesson?   How can we dampen the pain that we share over the loss of innocent lives, while sustaining the messages and meeting the challenges it brings.

  1. First, and foremost, we must love, hold and protect our children, diligently

see to their safety, and then pray for their well-being.

  1. We must instill and model the basic values that provide for a safe society, which engender good critical thinking, a healthy view of the other, clear and respectful boundaries, and tools for coping with the challenges of the world.
  2. We must pay attention to signs of stress, distress, unusual behaviors, and poor mental health and treat them the same as we treat signs of physical illness and pain.
  3. We must make certain that our schools have dynamic curriculum for healthy, functional life-skills and conflict resolution.
  4. We must support and encourage inclusion and fair treatment of others, and never turn the other way from bullying, exclusion and destructive social behaviors.
  5. We must as a society provide for our children such engaging curriculum, stimulating and healthy social opportunities, as well as inspiring adult modeling that their thirst for education is full of idealism and zeal, while their interest in unhealthy activities and addictions diminishes and fades away.
  6. We must replace media and virtual obsession with dynamic activities outdoors and in the world.  We must certainly supply creative opportunities, games, projects and opportunities for our children that leave voyeuristic, violent video games, movies and images in the dust as relics of an abandoned violent society.
  7. In all schools, we must regard each child as a unique individual, deserving of the attention and love which will grow that child into a healthy, functional, happy adult, who sees that his/her gifts will make the world a better place.  Moreover we must use our resources to “see” every child and discover and address their needs.
  8. We must remember that our “young adult” children, ages 18-30 still need our attention, guidance and support.  We must not let the arduous, overwhelmingly expensive and often rejected nature of our support wear us down into resignation and “giving up”.
  9. We must come to an agreement as a society which does it’s best to honor all political points of view about how the guns already in circulation as well as future guns and ammunition can be monitored in such a way that they are not used in moments of passion or mental illness to hurt and kill others.   Here is an idea that seems to have worked in Australia.  
  10. Finally, we must not allow ourselves to be moved to hasty decisions or panic and worry by these isolated incidents.  We must do the best we can to be diligent in protecting our children, and if we are going to worry, we might as well pray.

Meanwhile, let’s all take a deep breath, put things in perspective, count our blessings, and unconditionally love our children, teens and family members.  Let’s take a few deep breaths, calm down, love the moment, choose our battles and learn to manage our anger and frustration better.  Only then, will we be able to heal while we hold on to the power of these painful moments.




Written by

Filed under: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply