My heart and prayers go out to the families and community of Newtown, Connecticut. As a parent, grandmother and teacher, I don’t have the words to express my sorrow as I grieve with and for the families involved in this tragedy.
There has been a lot of talk on the news for the last several days regarding gun control, school safety and access to help for the mentally ill. While these are preventative measures, there is one that no one has mentioned.
I’m talking about a change in the way we parent our children, the ultimate preventative measure. We parents don’t trust our parenting judgment as past generations did. We don’t feel secure in our role, so we don’t provide a secure attachment for our children. A secure attachment is a necessary for raising a mentally healthy child. To do this the parent/caregiver must attend to the child’s needs immediately, by providing food, comfort, diaper changes, kissing a boo boo etc., when the child needs/wants it. A secure attachment teaches the child that the world is a safe place to explore. With this as a base, the child is then capable to explore the world, fall down and get up, leading to a good self-concept, self-respect and self-esteem.
I fear that some of our children are not being raised with a secure attachment, not by design, but out of ignorance. The two parent working family can reduce both the quality and quantity of time that parents spend with their children. There are ways to make quality time out of a few short hours together, but a parent needs to know how to do that.
Providing parenting skills coaching to all parents is a priority along with gun control and increasing the availability to mental health professionals. This is the beginning to ending the senseless acts of violence such as the one that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School.