A Message from A Mom

Robin Fenchel December 16, 2012

A Question All Mothers Are Asking ~ Why?

By now you’ve heard the story over and over again during the last 36 hours. A massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty children dead. All shot multiple times at point blank range with a rifle. Six adults/heroines shot dead trying to shield/hide/save children.

One 20 year old shooter. A young man who was disturbed enough to kill his mother and then go on a shooting rampage in an elementary school that he once attended. Why? That is a question neither his surviving brother or father from whom his mother was divorced could answer or fathom.
Yes, it’s true that the guns the shooter used were apparently easily accessible as his mother had permits for them. Yes, it’s been said that the young man had problems fitting in, was socially awkward, was smart but kept to himself, did not have any friends. Some proffered that he had Aspergers, but we really do not know very much about this troubled young man.

Neither his brother nor his father knew the extent to which the shooter needed intervention by a mental health professional. This, I believe, is at the core of the problems that we face and will continue to face until and unless we stop sweeping mental health issues under the table, and open window, let the fresh air in, and begin to come to grips with an issue that is simmering under the radar.

Because parents believe that their children might be stigmatized, they turn a blind eye to issues that might be addressed long before they devolve into suicides, matricides, or mass homocides.We do not have the proper channels to assist children who early on display hostile or anti-social behavior. There seems to be a “boys will be boys attitude” that is built into our culture.

Parents are often oblivious to the pre-cursors of their children’s bad behavior. They deny that there is anything that is wrong. It’s a stage that their child will outgrow. I’ve seen parents deny that anything is wrong or misguided when a child “bullies” another child or mistreats a pet. We cajoled one of our children’s friends to let us care for his cockatiel after my son witnessed this child abusing his pet bird.

One of my sons had his car windows smashed in and “Yale” carved into the side of his car because he was successful in school, had been accepted to several of the top Ivy League schools, and there was a misguided kid in the neighborhood who was probably chastized and castigated by his parents for not “measuring up to so and so.” I’ve seen the same kind of behavior that parents level against their kids who strike out at a Little League ball game, or miss a goal at soccer, or fail to win a medal in track and field…and the list goes on.

Parents need to love and accept their children for who they are, and stop comparing them to either siblings or friends who have a different skill set. We need to get off our children’s backs and love them. Hug them. Love them.  Have dinner table conversations with them. Share with them. Be interested in them.
Oh, and this doesn’t begin when your child is already in High School. It begins at their birth, and continues into adulthood.
Know your child. And if you see any troubling signs, please seek professional help. It may avoid a tragedy like the one we have just witnessed.
In Memory Of Those Who Died at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012

Newtown Shooting | The Victims

Charlotte Bacon, 6                             
Daniel Barden, 7
Olivia Engel,6     
Josephine Gay,7
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley,6
Madeleine Hsu,6
CatherineHubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6                                                      
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison Wyatt, 6

Rachel Davino, 29 Teacher

Dawn Hochsprung, 47 School principal

Nancy Lanza, 52 Mother of gunman

Anne Marie Murphy, 52 Teacher

Lauren Rousseau, 30 Teacher

Mary Sherlach, 56 School psychologist

Victoria Soto, 27 Teacher

 

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