Let’s make children feel secure in this insecure world!
Children are like marsh mellows: They’re soft and can be squeezed tightly with love, or smashed by parents who are overwhelmed with life, work, and raising kids. The sparkle in their eyes can be dimmed by tough handling and harsh words or sparked by a teacher or parent who takes the time to listen and care.
Recently, I taught a 2nd grade classroom, and they were, unusually, sensitive and weepy. It made me think about the frantic times in which we live, how these times are impacting the children, and what a difficult task it is to raise secure kids in an insecure world. Two cried because they had forgotten their lunch money. Another cried huge, crocodile tears because his seat mate wouldn’t help him with a lesson. His friend responded in tears that she couldn’t help because they were suppose to be working quietly. Finally, there was one who frowned and cried the entire day. Her knee hurt. Her hand hurt. Her soul weeped!
We live in an insecure, fast moving world, and children are spinning through it all. I can’t imagine raising kids now. We all need to slow down, but parents should really slow down for their children’s sake. Set up routines to make them feel secure in a world that moves at lightning speed. Spend less time on your cell phone and I-pad. When there are changes in your routine always communicate with the educators and adults in your child’s life. Something as simple as forgetting to send lunch money, or not having lunch money, can upset their little lives. When you’re undergoing a significant change in your life, always communicate with your child’s teacher.
Although I often concentrate on creative pursuits, teaching is in my DNA and I love subbing regularly for my neighborhood schools. My mother was a Ph.D. educator. The welfare of our youth is never far from my mind. At times, as a young mother, I was petrified that I wouldn’t do a good job of raising my sons. I revved up my faith, attended church regularly, and read my bible to be the best woman and mother that I could be. When I learned that my oldest son was Autistic, I nearly had a nervous breakdown as I tried to figure out how I would successfully parent him. I was determined to have healthy, happy, and successful children no matter what. Nothing meant more to me!
I started my non-profit, Sisters Supporting Sisters (making an impact) http://www.indelibleimpact.org while teaching 2nd grade in Watts after a mother of one of my best students showed up to a Student-Teacher conference drunk and without shoes. A drunken, barefoot mother made me realize how blessed I was. I was married, employed, educated, owned a home, and had a middle-class life. When I thought about mothering my sons without proper resources, housing, money, or support, it seemed unimaginable to me. Sisters was my way of helping those who were living in those unfathomable circumstances. Our first event was a clothes and computer drive for needy families at my school.
Parenting is even harder than when I had little ones and started Sisters. And teaching is the hardest, most thankless job in the world. Teachers and parents really should be elevated to rock star status and treated like celebrities. But, unfortunately, they must work hard with little help or fanfare. Please share the article below, which is about making children feel secure in an insecure world, with the parents and teachers in your world; they may just be too busy to surf the net and will appreciate that you shared it with them. http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2014/04/marathon-reflection-secure-world
I am the mother of three wonderful adult sons.
I did everything in my power to make sure they felt secure when they were little.
I will always be a Sister Supporting Sister, and I pray that some busy, young mother enjoys this post.