What can we all do right now in response to the recent horrific, unjust murders and long-standing history of systemic racism? Wow, big question! Raise children who love.
Yes, we can donate to organizations like Black Lives Matter.
Yes, we can continue to protest for legislative changes peacefully.
Yes, we can educate ourselves, become aware of our issues with race, and how we contribute to ongoing inequality. I’m a white person, but we all can benefit from and learn How to be an Anti-Racist with Ibram X. Kendi.
Yes, we can promote and practice inclusivity in our own lives and communities.
But most importantly, we can raise children who love.
After the 9/11 attacks, when asked, “What do we do to respond to the attack?” Lawrence Kelemen (author of To Kindle a Soul: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Parents and Teachers) responded by offering the encouraging answer of“we raise children who love.” What a simple yet brilliant message to create change.
Children are learning and watching us all the time in how we relate to them, our partners, and the people around us. Here’s what we can do as parents:
We must love our partners, even when we disagree, even when we are very different.
We must love our children, even when they have different interests, strengths, perspectives, feelings, and identities than what we do.
We must treat others with respect, kindness, curiosity, and love, even when we are different and don’t agree.
We must have empathy and compassion for ourselves and others to role model and teach this to our kids.
We must listen to our kids. Then we must teach them how to listen to others truly. You can start in your own family. Listening involves being present, not interrupting, seeing things from another point of view, offering validation as to why it makes sense, and putting your reaction in your parking lot. Listening is hard work!
We must pay attention to how we show up in the world with other people. What are your kids learning from you?
We must educate ourselves.
We must speak up when we see something that is not ok.
We must commit to loving as a way of life to raise kids who love.
Personally, I know that I have not spoken up when I should have, just to avoid confrontation and an awkward situation. I can no longer be silent. It’s my job to show my kids and the world what is ok and not ok, and speak up when something is wrong.
To all parents out there, what you can do right now, and going forward, is raise your children to love other people.
This blog post was written by Grace McDonald Registered Marriage & Family Therapist and Registered Clinical Counsellor
As a Registered Marriage & Family Therapist, I want to support families, couples, and individuals in my community. I am passionate about helping people to more positively perceive themselves, their lives, and their relationships. In particular, I provide tools in dealing with communication conflict management and self-regulation.
I am a Certified Imago Advanced Clinician, so I mainly use Imago Relationship Therapy, which focuses on how people show up in relationships. I also draw from Sensorimotor Psychotherapy which believes in the mind-body connection and helps people in their ability to track the body’s entire experience moment to moment while staying regulated. My approach to therapy focuses on strengthening self-awareness, one’s sense of control, and connection in relationships. I believe that everyone knows what they need, so I guide people to listen to themselves and come up with their own solutions. Therapy is a place for couples and individuals to practice their desired outcomes, so people feel confident to use their newly learned ways of being in the world. I help people to: Develop tools to effectively manage conflict, Communicate so that your partner wants to keep listening and listen so that your partner wants to keep talking, Mindfully track your present moment experience, emotions, and impact, Manage yourself, self-regulate and feel a sense of control, Build your sense of self-worth, confidence, and empowerment, Identify and meet your own needs, Enhance connection, safety, and empathy in relationships.
Education & Credentials: Certified Imago Advanced Clinician. This includes advanced training in Regulating high levels of reactivity, Communication, Affairs, Characterological growth and fully developing all parts of self, Connection & differentiation and Parenting. Completion of Level 1 Training of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Graduated from the Marriage & Family Therapy Master’s program at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) of the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors, Registered Marriage & Family Therapist (RMFT) of the Canadian Association of Marriage & Family Therapy, Serves on the board of the BC Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, Serves on the board of Imago Relationships North America.
I work with individuals, couples, families, and parents.