Focus on the Good
It has been a tough week and it’s hard to put words to what we’re feeling. Our generation did not grow up with constant streaming of information. We remember when the TV networks would actually stop broadcasting after midnight. Our social lives were shared in the day-to-day family conversations that formed the glue of family togetherness. We remember everyone clustered around the family television and the lack of privacy while using the family telephone stuck to the wall. Looking back, our childhoods had more built-in monitors and filters. Our middle schoolers may struggle with the thought of waiting for a ride or walking the dog without the company of their smart phones. Our kids’ lives have been shaped differently in this age of 24-hour information and unfettered internet access- commonly without built-in monitors and filters. As parents, teachers and mentors, we hope to guide and support our teens to learn how to filter and choose where to direct their attention. In the face of tragedy, loss and struggle, we hope to both encourage and join them in cultivating meaningful connection and well-being.
Quote from Changing the Way We Talk to Teens About Tragic Events (October 4, 2017).
This week, both Ellen Degeneres and Jimmy Kimmel opened up conversations, showing us “the best of humanity” and how we can do more to not feel as powerless. Ellen Degeneres decided to focus on the good by sharing love and hope and looking at notable, everyday people doing amazing things for others. Jimmy Kimmel, a native of Las Vegas, shared his pain and showed vulnerability and emotion, while initiating a dialogue about taking action. He encouraged his viewers to educate themselves on legislation, keep their eyes open, and work to create change. We don’t have control of the world around us, but we do have control over how we process the information.
“Our children look to us to be sure everything is okay. For teens, processing these events can be challenging and so can the conversations that we must have with them. We must take some different approaches in the way we talk with our children. Our teens must not see themselves as powerless. We must help prepare them to be the generation that solves problems. Not the generation that just lives with them. They must never believe that we have no ability to prevent these disasters.” Kenneth Ginsburg, M.D, M.S.Ed
Simon Sinek’s work with Millennials gives us meaningful insights into what our kids need to become the problem solvers of the future. This week’s resources highlight coming together- each doing our part. We can choose to focus on the good and enjoy the small things with the ones we share our lives with.
Striving to connect, be well, and foster conversations.