One of our deepest needs is to have a sense of security and stability. It is deeply wired into our neurology. On a day like today when the security of our nation was rocked by the horrible terrorism of 9-11, I think we should reflect on the children in our families, our communities and consider the importance of providing them with security as they grow to be who they were created to be.
September is also Suicide Awareness month and we are currently experiencing an epidemic of suicides among teenagers and even young children at increasing levels. It is a terrible tragedy. One of the greatest solutions is for children to know with great confidence that they have someone in their life that cares deeply for them. Losing our sense of human connection is terrifying and I would like to illustrate that with two videos. Please watch them in the order presented in the blog.
The first video is a clip found in the Netflix show, Magic for Humans. It is a fun creative show. We enjoy it as a family. The magician in the show conspires with a crowd to convince participants that they have truly disappeared. With a little evidence the men in this clip become quickly convinced they are invisible to the crowd. It is both scary for them, and mildly entertaining. But the discomfort is evident.
This second clip is much more terrifying. A family tries the same trick on a preadolescent girl. Her terror is heartbreaking.
I can’t watch the second clip without experiencing strong emotions. I want to be careful about being too judgmental of the family. We all participate in family activities that go wrong. I am sure this family is loving as evidenced by the girl’s demands for her mom. She likely has strong and healthy bonds to her parents and she will probably recover.
My point in showing each of these videos is the contrast in an adult’s and child’s response to isolation and disconnection. The adults had more “resources” to cope with the stress and clearly the young lady’s level of distress escalated quickly.
Can we please be aware of the distress our teens face in a world that presents them with intense adult information when they have limited resources for coping. I am concerned that this is one of the primary reasons for our increased suicide rate. Be available. Engage your kids and the friends of your kids. Be their resource until they grow their own internal resources.