So much grief and sorrow have surrounded this week as parents we all grieve with those in Florida, in that complete heartbreak a question is rising,” How do we stop this? Enough is enough.” Press releases and articles are circulating social media all offer ideas and reform. Dealing with something so emotionally heavy for all of us and being in a position of helplessness and fear is paralyzing.
As you think about your own ways to create safety in a world we all fear. As information surfaces in articles and press releases, think about the levels of change. Some speak of large system changes; gun reform, mental illness. Others focus on school and community safety, reporting and training. While others pinpoint, homes, parents, individuals. Truth is there is the need for change on all levels.
Start where you are. Don’t feel like in order for your children to be safe you have to write the legislation, become a principal and police officer, and be a stellar mom knowing every detail of your children’s lives. Take little steps in any direction or maybe a couple of bits out of each area of change. If politics, legislation are your thing. Jump in, evoke change, share the information in your own way for us less savvy policy lovers. If you can be active in your community-share your talents, maybe a kid doesn’t have a safe, loving home, be their example, give them an interest. Coach a rec team, volunteer at your kid school. Never before have we as individuals been able to be so connected, yet socially isolated at the same time. If government and community seem too big of places to start. Focus on what is within your four walls. How do you teach values, respect, differences? What can you do as a parent to be more involved?
Feeling anxious and overwhelmed thrives when we feel powerless and helpless. Accurate information, appropriate change can help create empowerment. Sometimes just having a compartment in our brains gives us a place to store information until we are ready to process it. Watching the news with my kids this week hasn’t been a space I can feel these feeling and have my head spinning with questions and “hows.” As I read information I can think, “Ok they are talking about starting at home, what can I take from this article?” Or “Alright this is a policy change on a larger level, I need this information for when it comes time for me to vote.”