As the numbness of the Sandy Hook tragedy begins to subside, we ponder, "What can we do?" Certainly we can contact our representatives, and we can work harder to voice our concerns. But action does not have to end there.
After listening to experts, coupled with my 40 years of experience in education, I offer these suggestions:
- Teach your child to accept personal responsibility. Keep him accountable.
- Help him understand all behavior has consequences which he must accept.
- Teach him all life is precious.
- Help him be tolerant and accepting of others.
- Help him develop pride in whatever he does. Do not offer undeserved praise. Instead offer support and encouragement.
- Encourage him to be creative. It provides an outlet to express feelings.
- Encourage volunteerism to foster giving and belonging.
- Foster self-respect and respect for others and their property.
Whatever you decide, remember the Newtown mother who requested that, first and foremost, we all lead with love.
- Marie Martin, Chesterton