I cannot write a post today, without thinking of the millions of people affected by the recent hurricanes, both super storms that are causing pain and grief to millions of people in their paths. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the individuals who are dealing with the destruction and massive cleanup that faces them in the coming days.
To the families that are facing days without power and the tough job of cleaning up homes, businesses and communities, I say to you: Remember your children are watching. During times of stress and disappointment: your children are watching. When you feel and anger, fear and helplessness: your children are watching. When you take your stress out on your husband, wife or neighbor: your children are watching.
Children get their cues on how to behave from you. So if you are stressed, overwrought, angry or depressed, you can expect the same from them. This can be your finest hour of parenting or your worst. The choice is yours.
During times of difficulty, choose to rise above the situation. Choose to be the parent who can smile in the face of adversity. Choose to be the neighbor who is reaching out to comfort others. Choose to lend a hand, or a meal or a kind word to those who were hit harder than you. Choose to be the person who creates a feeling of warmth and calm in the midst of frustration and chaos.
You will be teaching your children such a POWERFUL message. Everything will be fine. Everything will eventually be normal again. And while things are not how you would like them to be, you are able to choose to make the best of it--for you, for your family, for your neighbors, and for future generations! The challenge is great--but remember you are shaping the future of your children's response to heartbreak and disappointment. Be their guiding light.