I sent my children an email last week expressing my sorrow related to the Paris terrorist attacks. AS a parent I felt a need to reach out to them -even though they are grown, married with children of their own – Once a mother always a mother.
I reminded them to take time to process, grieve, bow their head and pray if that brings them peace. I asked them to keep their eyes and hearts open for all the beauty that still exists in the world – to watch for all the love that is present – for that is what will beat terror. Love. Bonding. Caring for one another.
As parents of young children, I asked them to shield their little ones from the news of terror. They are only 4 and 2 years old. They live carefree lives full of love and and the innocence that childhood should be- protected by those who love them. No child should be subjected to the terror we have witnessed lately – and for those who have no choice – I pray they are surrounded by adults who will help them process their emotions.
Older children who are exposed via TV and Internet need an adult to reassure them and help them process the events. Follow the child’s lead in how much they wish to discuss and answer honestly. It’s best that they get the information from a parent or valued caregiver as opposed to another child. Be there for them but don’t be surprised if they don’t want to have a sit down discussion. Many children express their needs best in the context of everyday activities – in small subtle ways. Be on the lookout and take time needed.
This is a reminder to take time to share all the beauty and love in the world and to teach children resilience. Teach them to empower themselves with acts of kindness. Teach them how they can make a positive influence in the world each and every day in a million little ways. Children are resilient. Be there to help them learn just how resilient they are, and in that process, we may learn something about ourselves.