A horrendous incident such that of the mass killing at Sandy Hook Elementary shook the nation and the world in wide scale proportion. How can it not when it bereaved the basic core of our society which is the family. People testified how the outpouring of emotions were similar to that of 9/11's. This week has been laden with death done in the most heinous ways and worse it claimed the lives of innocent children. Three days before the Sandy Hook shooting, Portland, Oregon had their own blow of a mall shooting that claimed three lives.
As a parent, this is more than a wake up call. This is so life changing that it moves us to reinforce and fortify our family structure and dynamics even in the stand point of a bystander or for most of us as television viewers witnessing all these unfold. The places deemed enriching for our children are now target points for people brooding evil intent. The word safe and child-friendly takes on a different meaning now. It somehow puts us on a stand still that is physically and emotionally exhausting.
A week ago, I received a call from my eldest son's school that they were in lockdown under code yellow. The hardest part to it of course is one's inability to provide help on the most troubling time especially if the ones involved are your loved ones. On that experience I have drawn out the most crucial levels of responses which my children can be involved in.
1. The school's crisis response and intervention procedures. It was all worth the time to know from my son and from the school what procedures were in place to protect the kids when a threat of this kind occurs. Where there drills done to familiarize children? How were the kids handled? Are the teachers trained to effectively respond and lead the students? How does the school and our local police work together on such emergencies? As to this experience, my son's school and all the other local law enforcing groups have commendably done their duties for the safety and interest of students, their families, and school personnel. The chain of communication to parents was established so as to keep us informed of what's transpiring and are yet to be done.
2. Our children's preparedness on these incidents. Our homes must not cease in becoming a place to educate our kids. It is not enough that we ask them how their day was but every member in the family must be educated and involved on the affairs and safety issues we may encounter. We do not hold our academic institutions solely responsible for the training of our kids. They must learn "self-preservation" primarily in our own household with the parents constantly helping the children to process the events that will keep them uphold their values and safety. Show them the path they
must not depart from (Prov. 22:6)
3. Our children's dependence on God. I was comforted and moved by my pastor's blog about the need to hold family devotions. We get tangled with all of life's struggles and diversions that we fail to unite our families through intimate spiritual efforts. Most if not all of us will say that we pray for our kids but should it end there? Let us teach them to pray and to build their faith in God who may be unseen but is our unfaltering help in time of need. Pray for them and with them (1 Thes. 5:17)
Every new morning gives us another perspective to see our children lovingly. Yes, hold our kids tight but ensure all measures to educate, be involved, and pray.