Lately, Cece, Yun and a few friends are talking about the issues of a child’s psychological safety during their tender growing years. It is disheartening to witness, directly or indirectly, how a child can be hurt psychologically by their own parents. Based on the research, it is said that Narcissism/Sociopathy are on the rise in America. This can be translated into the fact that there are more and more parents lacking one of the basic human emotional traits: empathy.
Lacking empathy, a parent is not capable of seeing when a child’s psychological safety is in danger. Like a blind person trying to raise a child alone, he/she can not see when the child is in physical danger.
Well, it is an issue dear to the Two Who’s heart. We were kids once, we have kids, nephews and nieces, we work with people who often carry the emotional wounds from their childhood. However, like many, we feel this is a tough issue to address. We try to call it nicer names like household bullying…instead of verbal or physical or sexual abuse.
Day dreaming, an image of a little girl with a red dress and a school bus is stuck in Yun’s head.
There are miles of long road in and out of a ‘village’ inside the city of Albuquerque. During rush hour, the traffic is very sluggish as cars follow each other snaking through the long winding road. On this late fall afternoon, the sun is making its path behind the western horizon. Yun is stuck in ‘traffic’ again… late for her appointment. She is in a school zone. In the opposite direction, there comes a school bus. It halts in the middle of the traffic, and a stop sign appears from its side . Upon seeing the sign, no matter who you are, how important your business , or what a hurry you are in, you must stop and wait until the stop sign goes back in. This happens after the kids are in safety. With all the traffic watches, a tiny little girl in a red dress makes her way off the school bus and walks ever so slowly across the street and disappears into a side road…totally in her world of bliss and oblivious of the stopped traffic and its potential danger.
Yun is moved deeply and starts day dreaming….
What if parents have the traffic patrol stop sign in their mind whenever they see a kid’s action they dislike or disagree with. The STOP sign can be used as a symbol to:
STOP the automatic moving/ hitting; reacting with criticism, punishment, demand, and belittlement…
THINK of the impact of of their words and actions on a child’s emotional and psychological safety
START our parenting duty of nurturing and guidance, and firm protection...
She laughs at her naivete with incredible sadness. She knows that this is a simplistic solution to an incredibly complex problem and that those who are abusers will not respond to a STOP sign…that those who abuse are likely to have learned this pattern from their own parents and it is ingrained in their pattern of behavior. But what’s wrong with dreaming up a world where a parent has a great internal strength and maturity to refrain from automatic reactions, where a parent has well developed empathy, where a parent believes he/she is here to serve and nurture not to control.
Cece thinks there is nothing wrong with dreaming, and thinking idealistic thoughts, but wonders what is Yun going to do in regards to this topic? How would she counsel parents who are abusive? How would she work with them? How will she stand up to the horror that is abuse?
It feels like forever…… finally….. the school bus’ starts to move and the stop sign retracts. Traffic starts to move again… We all know that the little girl has arrived safety, just like the day before, and the days that will come.
“Bye for Now” from The Two Whos
Cece-one of The Two Whos http://www.thetwowhos.com
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