By Debra Waranch, LCSW-C
We have faced the events of 2020 and now 2021, with our emotions. Mine were shock, confusion, fear, exhaustion, and determination. We are all reactive to these experiences, and protective.
Shock and Confusion: what is happening? how could this happen?
Fear: if it happened at the Capitol, it could happen anywhere … are we safe? will we be hurt?
Exhaustion: it’s too much … how much more can we take?
And then … Determination: Congress went back in, completed the task at hand, life moves on … and so will we.
This is the message to give to your children, your family: Stay the Course … Keep going …
It may feel as though we all live inside a glass vase – separated from others and it keeps getting filled up with our fear, worries, violence, life and death situations. It feels as though all these negative experiences are filling up the vase and cracking the glass and us. We can’t fit anymore in. And yet we can and we do because we believe in the ultimate good of people and the world. And our positive experiences empty out the negative. They give us room to breathe, see change in a safe way, and we go on … and on …
Our world’s history–making experiences ask us to show our strength and come together even in hard times and with our differences. Our children are watching us.
As a Clinical Social Worker, I offer these suggestions of how parents can talk to their children and families can talk together about the current events we are all facing:
- Have those difficult conversations, don’t shy away from them.
- Listen, observe, and thoughtfully respond.
- Meet your children and family where they are and you will get a gift; through listening you learn where they are, what are their thoughts, worries, feelings and creative ideas.
Taking these steps will guide us towards hope, optimism, growth. We may not have the answers, but we have our hearts. Listen and we can discover together a healthy world for all of us.
Debra Waranch is a Clinical Social Worker at Jewish Community Services
JCS is a comprehensive human services organization providing a broad range of services that meet the diverse, multi-dimensional needs of individuals and families throughout Central Maryland. To learn more, visit jcsbalt.org or call 410-466-9200.