Make Sure the Children Are OKAY

Helping Our Children Through These Uncertain Times

                It was nothing but pride that made me refuse to see that my sons were experiencing depression.  It was nothing but pride that made me buy into the idea that children do not feel pain and loss to the same degree as adults.  It was nothing but pride that made me believe that I knew what was best for my children simply because I was their mother.  It was nothing but pride that prevented me from standing on the rooftop and crying for help for my broken family until someone heard and responded.  It was nothing but pride that made me ignore my mother’s suggestion that we get family counseling.  It was nothing but pride that made me believe that if I were okay, they would be okay.  Yet none of us were okay.

                By the grace of God my sons endured loss, pain, being misunderstood, their mother’s selfishness, their father’s rejection, and their stepfather’s sometime overbearing discipline.  By the grace of God, we continued to love each other even when we did not understand or like each other.  By the grace of God, we persevered through feelings of being misplaced.  By God’s grace we moved beyond the ignorance of believing that everything that is wrong with a child can be handled through punishment and whippings.  By the grace of God our healing process is in full effect and our beliefs on rearing children have evolve.

We are thankful for God’s grace.  Yet, our journey may not have been as rocky and tumultuous had I realized that as a parent it is not necessary for me to be the sole source for meeting every need.  Sometimes parents are the facilitators that ensures that those who are trained to meet needs are employed to do so.  The best parents seek out help and utilize it. 

During this pandemic, when parents are being forced to spend more time with their children, I hope that parents are paying attention to children.  Remember that children are people just as adults are people.  Children feel the same anxieties, fears, and angst as adults.  All is not well for our children.  Pay attention to your children.  This pandemic has caused them to suffer much loss.  Children often lack the language acquisition to express their feeling.  Sometimes they act out in ways we consider strange.  Pay close attention.  Do not brush off what your gut tells you is something you should be mindful of.  If you find your child’s behavior unsettling talk with your pediatrician.  Be proactive.   Of course, give plenty of hugs, have fun as much as you can, make life at home as simple as possible.  Enjoy each other. Be receptive to your children’s needs.

These times are affecting us all in ways that we cannot explain and may not even be aware of.  Do not ignore your own anxiety, fears, and angst.  Be honest and truthful with yourself and talk to your physician.  Get your own counseling to help you deal with the pressures and demands of family life during this time.  Most of us have never lived through anything like this.  Unfamiliarity often sparks trepidation.  So many varying news reports and conflicting information can make it difficult to make decisions and cause us to be unsure of ourselves. Family counseling may be necessary.

Children are vulnerable at every stage.  They must be protected and cared for during these times of great uncertainty and change.  Things may never be as they once were, but we must do everything we can to make children feel safe and secure.  There will be long term affects and transformations associated with this time in history.  Right now, families must work to emerge strong.  The future depends on it.  Make sure the children are okay.

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