About Me

My photo
Columbus, Ohio, United States
I'm a stay at home mom and wife with a passion for family, creating and photography. I'm a little bit quirky and a little bit odd, but that's what makes me...well me. I'm a jack of all trades. So check back often because, to paraphrase Forest Gump's mom "I'm like a box of chocolates, you never know what your going to get.

Monday, December 17, 2012

We need to listen

I was on the road to Chicago for the weekend to meet with friends when I heard of the Newton, CT shooting on Friday. My husband and I were devastated by the events. How could anyone target innocence in that way! Although we live hundreds of miles away, and know no one directly affected by the horrific event it definitely hit home with us. Five days a weeks I put my five year old son on a bus and send him off to kindergarten without a care in the world, but on December 14 that changed forever. For the weekend though, we limited our media exposure of the shootings, and with little man safe, and strict instructions given to limit his exposure to media coverage of the event also, we carried on with our weekend.

Today as I put my little man on the bus to school, the reality of it sunk in. For the first time, I felt a pang of dread seeing him go. Then I felt a since of relief when I think back on all the security measures, that my son's school takes to ensure his safety. I remember not to long ago scoffing about the gate to the classrooms that is locked during school hours and the background check that I had to go through to be able to volunteer. Today I am extremely grateful for these cautious measures. Although, this will not stop a murderous man on a mission, it will give the teachers and staff time to take measures to protect my child.

With the funerals of the babes that were lost on Friday beginning today, I have been asking myself how I, as a parent, can help prevent something like this from happening at my  son's school. So finally I lifted my ban on the media, and that wave of emotion that I suppressed on Friday came back. What kind of person does this and how can this be prevented in the future? These were the questions that came to my mind. Then I found this great article about a study done at previous school shootings that was quite enlightening.

In School shooting, patterns and warning signs.

Often the warning signs are there. I am by no means any kind of expert, but in my opinion I think the most important thing we can do is listen to our children actively look for warning signs. Not just about what is going on in the classroom, but more importantly what is happening in the hallways and playgrounds. Start an open dialog with your children and their friends early. Often times, if you make yourself open and available to your kids friends they will tell you things that they would never tell their parents. If you hear something suspicious don't be afraid to act upon it. Start listening to them early, children love to talk and will generally give you "too much" information. I hope that the openness I have begun to build with little man now, will continue as he grows. But believe me when I say, that when my son reaches his teen years I plan on being a master at eavesdropping. As a parent you can never know too much about what is going on in their lives.

Having said all of that, live goes on, and hopefully there is something to be learned from this fateful event. So hug your little ones tight and be sure to tell them every chance you get how much you love them.

No comments: