December 21, 2012
When I shared my first blog post at a different address, I got two wonderful comments with more ideas on turning anger into action in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy. Heba, who blogs at My Life in a Pyramid and who is one of the first bloggers I've followed, wrote:
I agree that isolation is one of the root causes of many societal ailments, and finding a way to engage can go a long way in maintaining a sense of community, protecting our mental health, and alerting one another of danger. I like the action points you mentioned, and I would add to that also getting to know the parents of kids that are befriending your kids. I don't have kids yet, but I'd like to know more about the families that my kids would befriend because that says a lot about their kids and how they will behave. In any case, I think it's crucial to try to rely on God because otherwise one can drive himself/herself mad with worry that doesn't necessarily lead to more protection.I definitely plan to do the same as well: befriend my kid's friends and rely on God.
Fr. Bishoy, who blogs at I Am He, and who inspired me to start my own blog, wrote:
Listening to your family, I am sure if any child found ears to what s/he facing, we would bring people who know how to communicate even if they are sick mentally. How many of our children listen now to their friends as no space for listening inside their families.He is right. It's especially important to establish a listening relationship with our children, especially when they are young, and even when what they have to say seems small, unimportant, or even imaginary. All of it is important in their eyes. Listening to young children now establishes their trust in their parents, and means they are more likely to continue to share with their parents as they get older.
If you are not a parent, being a listening ear for a child in your life is still very important. Jared Diamod writes about the important role of "allo-parents" in an excerpt from his book published in Newsweek this week, "Best Practices for Raising Kids? Look to Hunter Gatherers." "Allo-parents" are individuals who are not parents, but play some care-giving role in a child's life. Their role is more dominant in what he calls "small societies," but are still important in industrial societies where immediate parents are the most dominant care-givers:
I have heard many anecdotal stories, among my own friends, of children who were raised by difficult parents but who nevertheless became socially and cognitively competent adults, and who told me that what had saved their sanity was regular contact with a supportive adult other than their parents, even if that adult was just a piano teacher whom they saw once a week for a piano lesson.I see this all as a part of the process of ending isolation that I wrote about in my first post.
Listen, Learn, Act and Reflect by Phoebe Farag Mikhail is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.