With Donald Trump’s presidency in full swing, new courses of action for families have taken effect. Recently, Trump called for an Immigration Ban on refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries. His executive order was designed to temporarily prevent Muslim immigrants from entering the United States, while heightened security and vetting procedures are developed. The ban’s impact is being felt across the world by all ages, races and groups of people. The emotional impact is being felt in homes, at work, in schools and beyond. Memories of love and hope are being disrupted by fear, anxiety and anger. As people across the world take to the streets in protest over the ban, I ask myself: How will this immigration ban affect families, long-term? Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which parents can support their children during these confusing times.
While it is true that many of our young ones do not have the advanced language to express their understanding of the world’s changes, many are intuitively aware of the rising tensions in their country. By keeping the dialogue open, parents encourage their children to express their feelings, and to use their critical-thinking and language skills, too. While school provides our children with current events, their most impactful lessons begin at home. Our children do not expect us to have all of the answers, Parents. They simply want us to be vulnerable about our fears and concerns, while giving them permission to express theirs, too. Children entrust their caretakers with more, the more transparent the caretaker is. Parents! Can you open up the space for honest dialogue with your young ones?
2-APPRECIATE! APPRECIATE! APPRECIATE!
Taking precious moments for granted can cost us in the long-run. What will it take for you to create positive memories with your loved ones? Give yourself permission to focus on irreplaceable, sacred moments. Appreciate your loved ones more. Celebrate your good deeds and successes more. Ask that good woman to marry you. Cook your husband’s favorite meal when he least expects it. Thank your partner for taking out the trash and cleaning the bathroom. Say thank you to your mother for supporting your dreams. Repay your Father the loan he gave you ten years ago. Allow your children to eat ice-cream for breakfast, sometimes. Apologize to your sibling for the nasty fight the two of you got into. Start that business you’ve been dreaming of. Tell your daughter that her pink hair looks cool. Stay up late and tell stories. Let your son get messy with his friends, and smile. Thank your co-worker for being a supportive teammate. Whatever you do, give thanks and show appreciation for the special forces in our lives.
3-PRACTICE RESPECT AND TOLERANCE
Tolerance and respect for others must begin at home, through everyday practices. Parents! Can you encourage your children to ask questions about people, places and things, which they are unsure of? What if you choose to demonstrate tolerance and respect by celebrating the different characteristics of each family member? Can you highlight and honor your own differences in the presence of your children? Remind your children to respect and appreciate the things about themselves that they cannot change. Remind your precious offspring of the importance of seeing beauty in themselves; they are looking to you as a model for self-acceptance. The more they learn to accept themselves, the more our children learn to accept others for their differences. Empathy is a trait that will carry our children far into the future. Parents, what will it take for you to speak highly of your differences in front of your children?
4-HAVE MORE FUN
Need I say more?
5-COMMUNITY SERVICE BEGINS AT HOME
Getting our children involved at home gears them for helping others in the future. Our children have the ability to impact the world and create change; let them! Ask your children to choose a community service project which they would like to serve. Community service is a positive quality, which teaches young ones to become selfless and fearless leaders. The more our children learn to serve others, the more they will stretch themselves in the world. Give your child permission to grow by allowing them to explore projects which will bring them the most joy. Soon, our young ones will learn to open their minds to the needs of the entire world.
With time and practice, parents can help their children rise above the tensions in this country. All it takes is one leader at a time to create positive change. Parents, are you ready to take your positions?