Tag Archives: Sandy Hook

Mass Killings: When Do We Talk about Parenting?

Perhaps the only silver lining to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary is emerging conversations and, hopefully, policy changes for gun control and mental illness. Both are in dire need of a relook and a revision, even though neither is likely to eradicate mass shootings.

But what about emotional illness, which affects so many more of us? Children are not born with emotional problems, which are rooted in feeling isolated, unimportant, misunderstood, victimized, holier than thou, etc. Children with emotional problems are the victims of the influence of parents, teachers, peers—anyone who is critical in the daily life of the child. Most of these problems can be healed through parenting.

Parents, wounded themselves in their pasts, unknowingly pass on their unexamined wounds to their children—wounds that come from perceptions of a child’s mind (“I’m not good enough”, “I can’t ever be who my parents expect”, “Nobody likes me“, I’m a trouble-maker”, etc.). These thoughts grow into beliefs that influence behavior if not understood and addressed.

read more
Look for the Helpers

What should we say to our children in the wake of this horrific school shooting? How can we ease their fears and answer their questions, not to mention ours? We look for the right thing to say just as we look for the motive of the killer—to make it all make sense, fix what needs fixing, feel better and move on. This tragedy is the worst yet—mainly because I don’t think we can ever again promise our children that they will be safe and believe it in our hearts to be true.

There is an abundance of advice on the internet, but the most helpful I have seen is words from Mr. Rogers.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers—so many caring people in this world.” Fred Rogers

Our faith can rest assured that this is true. From the parents and families of the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School to the school children and their families all over the world who have been cut to the bone by this disaster—we must all know there are helpers among us and around us.

read more