I didn’t want to do business as usual today after what happened in Connecticut this weekend. Words cannot describe what I felt when I heard the news, especially because this has happened too many times. In my adult life I’ve seen so many news stories like this one, and every time, I think it will be the last because a solution must be in the making. Then I find myself on the same couch listening to the same horrors all over again several months later. The fact that this would happen in a school and to fellow teachers and especially to students like the ones I work with every week crushes my heart. If there is a place where you should be able to feel safe it’s in a classroom with your friends and teachers. I’ve been especially saddened by the way the media has been including the children that survived in their news coverage. I keep thinking of two things when I hear or think about what happened: When are they going to take measures to prevent this from happening again? (this is one time too many), and how should this be explained to the children that survived and to all the others that have found out about this tragedy? For this reason, I’ve gone to the wonderful wise words of Brené Brown. As you may have heard me mention before in this blog, Brené is a research professor from the University of Houston who has written and specialized on the topics of vulnerability, courage and shame, among others. Her TED talk on listening to shame is one of the most special I have seen so far. For today’s Sunday Best I’m sharing a link to her post with incredible resources on how to talk to children after tragedy occurs and approaching the subject of violence against children with them.
Every week I witness the wonderful wisdom of children, and nowadays they seem so grown up that I always have to keep reminding myself that they still need so much protection and guidance to be able to hold on to their childhood and those wonderful years of innocence that should never be taken away. This is why I loved Brené´s post and all the resources she shares with us.
The photo you see above is of a small playground in a nearby park. It’s my favorite part of the park because it reminds me so much of when I lived in New York as a child and went to the playground every afternoon. The bright colors and fun swings behind this beautiful tree always remind me of how childhood should be. Today this picture makes me very sad and feels eerie when I think about what happened and how it needs to never happen again. I hope you can get some guidance on how to talk about this with the little ones in your family and classroom with Brené´s link above, and I send the most heartfelt condolences to those affected by this tragedy. I hope I can get another one of these photos soon with lots of children playing and laughing in the swings as a reminder of how precious their lives are and how there is always hope ahead.