This is not okay. I have watched youth speak out in Asheville and here it is in Charlotte. Young Black children pleading to folks with government power for their parents to not be killed, for their Black bodies to not be violated and hunted. This has to stop. Black lives matter. And if you are the parent of white children, please listen to Tamiko’s words below and recognize that you also have responsibilities as parents to educate your children about their privileges… let them see how unfair these systems are, so that perhaps your children will not only grow up loving and being connected to diverse people, but will also feel the fire in their hearts to end the institutional and systemic racism that has kept these policies and practices in place all throughout our lives so far and those of generations before us. Up until now, we have failed to make this country safe for the little girl in this video, for all the Black and Brown children (and their families) in this country. It is our responsibility to be part of the solution. Let me know if you need help understanding what to educate yourself or your children about.
From Tamiko Ambrose “Since Black parents and brown parents and Latinx parents and indigenous parents and parents of color all need to teach their children that the world is unsafe, white parents of white children need to teach them about racism. And not racism as in being nice to your friends, but the racism that privileges them and that creates A space for them to be safe and thrive while stripping opportunity, stealing and robbing, and hurting and killing communities of color. This burden must be shared. If you don’t know about it, you can learn. Tell the truth to the children. Please!”
I would love to hear your thoughts on this perspective of gifted and creative individuals.
The article is The Application of Dabrowski’s Theory to the Gifted by Kevin J. O’Connor and was published in the book Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children: What Do We Know?.
Here are a few quotes from the article to give you a taste of its content:
Dabrowski observed that gifted and creative individuals are often in conflict with the demands and expectations of their environment…
Many in the gifted community believe Dabrowski’s overexcitabilites, as they contribute to developmental potential, are a measure and indicator of giftedness.
Overexcitabilities are enhanced modes of being in the world. The word ‘over’ used in connection with ‘excitability’ connotes responses to stimuli that are beyond normal and often different in quality. Dabrowski identified “psychic overexcitability” in five forms: psychomotor, sensual, intellectual, imaginational and emotional.
While the concept of developmental potential emphasizes the positive aspects of experiencing life with greater intensity and sensitivity, these same characteristics may also be experienced in negative ways. Individuals with elevated overexcitabilities are more susceptible to being misunderstood and alienated by those who don’t share or understand their unique personality traits.
Parents of gifted children and gifted individuals themselves may find that Dabrowski’s ideas provide a useful “framework for understanding and explaining the developmental patterns and challenges that occur for those of high ability.”
When is the last time you baked cookies for a neighbor or cooked some extra dinner and took it to a friend who is struggling to find time to cook? Did you know that doing such activities for others is actually a way to increase the health and well-being of your own children and family? I read an inspiring newsletter this morning on social capital and the value of reaching out to our neighbors. While the newsletter was not intended strictly for parents, it reminded me of the 5 Protective Factors that parents need in order to parent effectively, even under stress, and to diminish the likelihood of child abuse and neglect. This is according to extensive research conducted by Strengthening Families. One of the protective factors is Social Connections. Parents need “friends, family members, neighbors and other members of a community who provide emotional support and concrete assistance to” them.
“Social connections build parents’ “social capital,” their network of others in the community—family, friends, neighbors, churches, etc.—whom they can call on for help solving problems. Friendships lead to mutual assistance in obtaining resources that all families need from time to time, including transportation, respite child care, and other tangible assistance as well as emotional support. Helping parents build constructive friendships and other positive connections can reduce their isolation, which is a consistent risk factor in child abuse and neglect. Isolation is a problem in particular for family members who are in crisis or need intensive help, such as victims of domestic violence.” (source)
With that in mind, below are some ideas from the newsletter: Engage in Dough Diplomacy – Bake Cookies for a Neighbor from Center for a New American Dream
Taking action by supporting legislation or greening your home is important, but don’t forget that we can also take action in our social lives. New Dream has always believed that change begins with our everyday choices: investing in relationships builds happier people and a stronger community–and may be good for your health. Which is why we’re asking you to bring a neighbor some cookies.
Between the mid 1980′s and the 1990′s, Americans’ openness to making new friends declined by about a third. A 2000 Harvard study found that one-third of Americans no longer participate in social activities like inviting people to their home or visiting relatives. Reaching out to others doesn’t just add meaning to our lives–it’s part of what makes up social capital, the shared values and trust that keep a society together and running smoothly.
Luckily, it doesn’t take a lot of your own capital to simply bake some cookies (or any other treat) and share them with a neighbor you don’t know. Think of it as the most fun and delicious way to make the world into what you want it to be: an open, trusting place full of people who will wave to you on the sidewalk. As a family activity, making and sharing homemade goodies is a way to have more face-to-face time and less screen time. So go ahead–knock on that door and then tell us what happened and how it made you feel.
cookies photo by emilybean
This post originally appeared at Community of Mindful Parents.
Do you know of any school communities that have an active online space where parents communicate with each other online… perhaps a blog, online forum, social media network? I am trying to help a school community that is interested in having a simple social space where parents can share resources, invitations, ask questions of one another, tell stories, and see what else might emerge. Thanks for sharing any links you know of for other such community sites.
photo by foreversouls
An amazing story about the bond between a mother and a daughter. I think it’s a beautiful analogy that any family could play with.
Meredith has an ongoing story about an “invisible string” attaching her to her mother. This story began in a literal manner, when she at age two would wrap one end of a string around her mother and then wrap the other end around her own wrist and say that they were “connected forever.” The string has morphed into an invisible string, that will “stretch and not break” when necessary, such as when she is at preschool. We have come to think of this string as an indication of her internal emotional state and a metaphor for managing separation.
For example, after a long and challenging day recently, she said that the string was very short and would break if her mother left her side. Her baby sister started crying, however, so then she added that her magic wand had turned the string into a “long golden thread that would stretch and not break” while her mother tended to the baby. “But,” she warned, “when Rosie stops crying, it will turn back into a very short string that can break easily.” She mentions the string every month or two, and we have come to appreciate her use of creativity and abstraction in expressing her psychological state.
I’ve been catching up on my online reading tonight… returning to the open tabs that have been patiently waiting for my attention. This last hour I’ve been captivated reading Mark Brady over at The Committed Parent. My mind is spinning with thoughts about synaesthesia, the many different ways that our brains work, the value of teaching children about deeply listening to their bodies and honoring what they hear, “the importance of creative allies – significant people who “get” us in ways that allow us to feel embraced and welcomed in all our weirdness and divergence.” I am deeply moved by the loving story of the death of a dear heart and the impact of taking the time to teach someone to dance, and my mind is so curious about all the different brain functions and conditions like heterotopagnosia.
Mark is a talented writer that marries storytelling, science, education, art and inquiry into very inspiring offerings. Do check him out… and thank you, Mark.