Thursday, November 10, 2016

How to talk to your kids, by Principal Ramos

Election night through today, I have seen a lot of people on Facebook asking, "How do I tell my kids?" 

Mrs. Ramos, the principal at Desmond's school, offers up the note below, which I would like to share with you because I enjoyed it so much. 

Dear OLG Families,

This week, it has been apparent that our students have absorbed a wide range of feelings regarding this election. We realize that most of them have been exposed to media coverage that can at times be confusing and fraught with tension. They have likely overheard emotionally charged conversations and divisive language. This morning, many families shared that it had been a late night for their whole family, watching election results pour in. We assume and appreciate that you are finding ways that are appropriate for your family to process questions, emotions, and media content related to the election.

As educators, we have been following the news about schools around the country reporting increased fear, aggression and division within their student bodies as the election progressed. For weeks, the question has been posed, "What will happen in the days and weeks following Election Day?" regardless of the results. No matter which way we lean politically, or which candidates we have been behind, I imagine that many of us would consider this election cycle a particularly contentious and unsettling one.

As a Catholic school community, we recognize this as a teachable moment about bringing the light of our faith to our everyday lives. Our OLG mission statement calls us to be "a sacramental community, united and empowered by the Holy Spirit." Through our practice of prayer and reflection, in the work we do to build the essential skills of listening, friendship building, conflict resolution and problem solving, and through our experience as members of a faith community, we are preparing our students to be bearers of the Holy Spirit both within OLG and out in our larger community.

Together, we hope we can instill in our students that in our community and world there is room for diverse viewpoints and that it's important to pray for wisdom and the Holy Spirit's guidance for our leaders. At times of significant transition and intense emotions, it seems especially important to partner in teaching our children to take time to listen deeply, to keep our hearts open, to be kind, to give ourselves time for what grounds us, and to pray. Out of that will come an authentic expression of our best selves in service to the world.

In these post-election days, our students will continue to pick up feelings and attitudes about the election, as it is discussed and processed by those around them, online and in the media. This can be a lot even for adults to digest in a healthy and balanced way. Please let us know if there are ways we can be sensitive to your child's needs, and don't hesitate to talk with Heidi Ehrenberg or any of us on staff.

With blessings and thanks for our OLG community,

Donna Ramos

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