Last week, I was too emotional to write about the horrors of what happened in Paris.
The situation and carnage was so overwhelming; I needed some personal time and space to think about all the events that transpired. This week, I have had time to digest and think about the atrocities, so this week I MUST write about parents and children and terrorism and violence. Although my late husband and I were not blessed with children of our own, as a teacher for 37 years, children have decreed the messages I send as well as the importance of my life. And now, as an author of a book for student teachers as a children's book author, my caring for kids and all things educational continues, and that caring includes speaking to the effects of violence on children.
I did write a press release last week about parents and teachers helping children to cope with the violence and terrorism around them. I urged parents of small, medium, and large (read that as teenaged) children to hug their kids just a little bit tighter and to make sure that the kids feel safe at home. To be aware of any need the child has to talk is important, and I think it is all right to express sadness concerning the current situation in the world. The two most important things, from my point of view, are that your children need to feel safe and loved. Life is so much better for all children when they feel those two things at home.
I found all of my ideas to be expressed so eloquently- in subtitles- by a French dad, who explains to his very small and very scared son, that France is their home. He does not blanch at questions about guns; he counters with flowers and candles. This is a beautiful exchange between father and son. As a former theater teacher and expert on body language, I urge you to look at the little boy's face as he accepts his father's advice. This dad has made all the difference in making his son feel safe.
Parents and teachers are the dominating forces in the lives of young people. We must make sure that our message is strong, like the dad in the video. We must help children to be aware, yet unafraid; brave, but not foolhardy; and caring, but not careless.
Today's world, with the Internet, smartphones, and access to how to make explosives is so much different than the world in which I grew up. Although today's kids are more tech-savvy, they have the same fears that we had as children. We all want to feel safe and loved.
I urge you to hug your children tighter, and to tell them that you love them. I beg you to have dinner as a family, and to keep the connection of love and communication open in your family- always. I hope that you will tell your children that they are wonderful, and that although the world can be a scary place, that they are safe with you.
In closing, "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
Have a blessed Thanksgiving, with your families. . . especially with your children.
Rittman Publishing, LLC ®
I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books. Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self. However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired!
Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book. I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies avaialble for purchase in your classrooms following the reading. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . The website www.gradygetsglasses.com IS UP AND RUNNING!!!. Signed copies ARE available!
Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. https://www.facebook.com/gradygetsglasses?ref=hl
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Dede could really use your financial help to make her dream of helping kids who need glasses come true. Please visit http://www.gofundme.com/zvzhuk for complete details about her upcoming book GRADY GETS GLASSES!