What’s a parent or educator to do? Earlier this year I wrote about the importance of modeling for our children ways that will empower them to be empathic leaders of the future. As I was watching the news and reading my local paper about the allegations regarding a well-known sports franchise owner this past Saturday morning and hearing comments from students and parents, I realized that, like they do in Hollywood all the time, I needed to write a sequel.
It is not easy to filter the news that is on the radio or on the television so that our children are not exposed to the graphic details that seem to be so prevalent; they just should not hear some things. When the news is about a high-profile person such as a politician or an entertainer, there may be ways to apply a filter; if however, the news is focused on the owner of a popular local franchise that has just won another championship, all bets are off.
The multiple layers of the current allegations should not and cannot be taken lightly, and professionally, I feel it is my duty to address what all of us should do to help our children through what I consider is another challenge to the type of decency we at Brimmer are trying to instill in our children (through our Life Rules and our theme of Empathy and Ethical Thinking). Parents know their children better than anyone, but sometimes they are not sure what their children can handle developmentally. I prefer the less-is-more approach. Lower School students are concrete thinkers and see their world in black and white terms, so it is difficult to explain certain adult interactions–thus less is definitely more! Dr. Beth Meister, Director of Counseling Services, is a great resource as well, so if you have questions, please feel free to contact her.
This brings me back to empowering our students to be empathic and ethical future leaders. We need to be strategic not tactical…proactive not reactive. Personally, I am struggling with how I feel about someone who can do so much good for others in need (not talking sports) and who allegedly participates in actions that abuse people. Professionally, I will continue to seek ways for our children to navigate a world that offers both good and bad examples of human interactions.