Parenting Win of the Week: Sometimes There Isn't a Win

We may not know how to react to the toughest moments in life, but kind gestures go a long way.

Photo by: Samantha Lande

Samantha Lande

There is no parenting win this week. There are moments in parenthood where you just don’t know what to do, and this is one of those.

As I am sure you are aware by now, on July 4th there was a shooting in Highland Park, Illinois that killed 7 and injured many more. I do not live in Highland Park, but with many friends at the parade, our worlds were also forever changed.

Sadly, this makes us part of a rapidly growing club of people who either experienced gun violence directly or second-hand. There is now only one degree of separation between us and this tragic event.

My heart is broken for all the families, and I can’t get out of my head the 8-year-old boy who is fighting for his life and will be paralyzed from the waist down. Just hours before he was running around just as normal kids do.

Over the coming weeks, I will try to share resources that can help you take the first steps in helping to prevent gun violence and provide mental health resources for children that can help in many situations.

But for now, I want to talk about something that has come up and I have observed that it is an important skill for kids too.

Mr. Rogers always said to look for the helpers.

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'"

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, we decided to both look for helpers and be helpers ourselves. We looked for meaningful projects that our kids could help with.

We quickly figured out what we could do as a community and it was amazing to see how many people rallied creating shirts, lawn signs, bracelets — all to give back to the community. We painted kindness rocks to put around Highland Park, bought baseball decals for our team helmets and of course, donated money.

One of the most meaningful things we did was put together packages and cards for the first responders that came to help. This included 1000 first responders, many from our own town.

My kids came with me to deliver them, and it was so meaningful to watch them deliver the gifts and thank the first responders personally.

None of it is enough or will change what these families went through, but I think it’s important to jump in and teach our kids that our reaction to tragedy and sadness is also important and that is what I will focus on today, in this very hour.

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