Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Spirits dampened by a Tragic Event

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you today! The Christmas season is upon us and it’s always a busy time of year. It’s my favorite holiday and my family and I make a big deal out of decorating the tree and putting all of our Christmas decorations up. My boys have a blast!

This year we let them hang most of the ornaments on the tree. When we stepped back and admired their handiwork we noticed most of the ornaments were at the bottom of our tree! J Our little guys couldn’t reach the upper branches. We got a good chuckle out of that and left them exactly the way they were, because it was just too darn cute! J

The next thing on our list was their Christmas program. I love these precious events. My boys are in first and second grade, so this year they got to sing together.  It’s really something to see those bright shiny faces waving at you from the stage. They’re so proud of who they are and what they have accomplished so far.

Then a few weeks later I turn on the news and hear about Newtown Connecticut and my Christmas spirit is dampened by these tragic events. I sit and wonder how does a young boy go from a bright, enthusiastic youngster to an angry suicidal teenager? I worry could this happen to my kids? Why didn’t this young man’s mother see the signs? What are the signs? Would I even recognize them if I saw them?

I also worry about my boys in school. We received a letter from their school explaining the precautions that they were taking, but is it enough?

Like most parents I want my boys to have the best life they possibly can, but how can our society protect our children from these tragic events?

These questions haunt me and I hear a variety of answers. “We need more gun control.” “We need a better mental health system.” “We need better security in our schools.”

These are all possible solutions, but I wonder if we were able to recognize the warning signs of this type of behavior before a tragedy occurs…maybe we could nip the problem right in the bud. And yes I do see it as a problem…because this situation keeps reoccurring across our country.

So…how do we do that? Well…in my humble opinion it comes down to parental involvement and open communication with the teachers that see our kids every day.

I know what you’re thinking…my kids are teenagers…they don’t communicate with me. And I agree, most teens won’t communicate with their parents because they’re testing their own independence.

But what we can do is keep them involved in sports and activities that they enjoy. I feel the tighter the family bond, the sooner problems will become evident and the sooner the family can respond and get help for the youngster who’s in need of it.  

I also feel that teachers interact with our kids every day; they see a lot of what’s going on. So, if a teacher tries to inform you of a problem, listen to her.  And take her seriously because she’s doing you a favor by bringing the issue to your attention.

As parents, we have our own issues that we’re dealing with and I know at times it’s very easy to minimize our children’s problems because they're not as pressing as our own. I mean…when we’re worried about losing our job, or we’re behind in our mortgage…these are huge concerns. So when little Bobby comes to us with a problem about being bullied in school…well I can understand where a parent might brush that aside because he/she is too wrapped up in keeping their job and putting food on the table.

So as parents let’s make a conscious effort to pay attention to our kids…after all they’re the ones who’ll be choosing our nursing homes. J And we want them to pay attention to us in our old age…don’t we?


WS Gager said...

Maybe we just need to start with hugging our children and telling them we love them, then listening to what they have to say. Sometimes life is too busy to listen and we miss a lot. Nice post Lisa.
W.S. Gager on Writing

Anonymous said...

You are so right Wendy! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!