We are filled with hope that 2015 will continue to see families finding ways to connect, finding time to talk to each other and spending time in one another’s company. In 2014, parents were confronted with the reality that try as we might, we could not be the puppet masters of our children’s social world. Perhaps we always knew that, but watching families and communities grieve over the deaths of several young people brought into sharp focus the question of how we can be the best guides possible as our children learn to make their own way.
Do we arm them with all of the knowledge we can about the dangers of alcohol and substance use and abuse and the potentially toxic effects of combinations of drugs – even prescription drugs? Do we support our schools as they devote time and resources to addressing these topics? Perhaps we think about identity and try to help our kids articulate who they are and what they stand for. But do we tell them that sometimes, based on how we look or what we have or don’t have, we might be judged harshly, even unfairly? How much information is enough? Do they stop listening?
At NYC-Parents in Action, we are continuing these conversations within the parenting community. On February 2nd, we will present our signature “Teen Scene,” where a moderated panel of independent school teens talk and answer questions candidly about their lives. On March 2nd, we have our Fathers Only event, featuring George Davison, Grace Church Head of School, using the movie “Boyhood” as a springboard for discussion. On March 10th, we will offer a screening at Dalton of “Man Up! The Mask You Live In.” And at our spring benefit luncheon on May 11th, Faye de Muyshondt will guide parents in helping their children develop the emotional and social skills they need to manage the business of life. Of course, we continue to offer Parent Talks within the independent schools.
This new year, maybe we strengthen our resolve to keep talking to our children, even if it feels difficult. Maybe this new year we resolve to keep doing our best to listen. Maybe we see one more film or read one more book or research one more subject we don’t yet feel competent to discuss with our children.
Safe, secure children make for happy families, and with all our hearts, we wish you this happiness.
Co-Presidents, NYC-Parents In Action