Teachable Moments from Conflict
The election and its aftermath have showcased the anger and bitterness that come from conflict. The deep divide is everywhere. How can conflict be a teachable moment?
We have to process our own feelings. While some people will be happy, others will be very disappointed. Nonetheless, we must respect the feelings of others. Unless we find common ground, we won’t be able to move forward. Also, remember we have an opportunity to show our children how to continue after a disappointment.
I wanted to share a recent interaction with my 4 year old granddaughter and 2 year old grandson post election. My granddaughter told me she knew I was sad “because Hillary lost” and gave me a hug. Then she reminded me that she was also sad. We hugged each other, exchanging a moment of comfort. Then my grandson saw a campaign button for Hillary. He looked me straight in the eye and said “That’s Hillary.” The conviction in his voice reminded me how important it is for children to find their voices. It also reminded me that they are closely watching us for cues as to how to respond to disappointment.
At the Thanksgiving table it will be important for us to identify our priorities, namely our family and friendships. Remember who we are to each other. These are the people we love. Even though our politics may differ, from that connection we can move forward together with love.
Above all, remember how precious your children are. Love and cherish this gift. Wishing you lots of love and respect at your Thanksgiving table.
Copyright (c) 2016 by GenParenting
Karen Salzer has over thirty years’ experience as a resource teacher in the Palo Alto public schools. She earned a doctorate in education from Stanford University. Her areas of expertise involve working with culturally diverse students with special needs including autism, emotional disturbances, learning disabilities, and health issues. As a special educator, Ms. Salzer served as a liaison between parents of special needs students and school staff. She guided parents and staff in identifying an appropriate education for each student in the public school setting. Additionally, she aided students and parents in navigating the educational requirements for graduation, test-taking and in finding support services within the community. Through her leadership, Ms. Salzer encouraged collaborative problem-solving between parents and school staff – such as accommodations for test taking, extended time and use of technology. She loves to follow-up with her students when they become adults and to highlight their many successes in education and careers. Ms. Salzer uses these success testimonials to reassure parents of other children and to encourage them to help their children pursue their full potential. Ms. Salzer is the mother of four adult children and helps care for her five grandchildren