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Friday Advice Column for Wacky Mothers & Others

May 18th, 2006

Dear Wacky Mommy:

I know it’s not Friday advice time yet, however I have a question: What would your advice be for calming a middle school student when their school has been closed twice in a week (TWICE!) due to “threats.” Lots of the parents are becoming frustrated at the situation, but I don’t want “parent emotions” taking over what the real issue is, and that is dealing with the kids’ emotions. I’m compiling all the advice I can get. Thanks!

Oh, we hope they find the punks who are doing this and get them the help they need.



Dear Zip:

Is the school doing anything to help? It would be nice if they could do some group therapy for the kids, on one of the occasional days that they’re open. And maybe private sessions for the kids who are really having a hard time. So I would look into that, if I were you. Or maybe the parents could find an independent social worker you could all pitch in to hire, and have a town hall-type meeting.

I’m assuming gunfire or bomb threats and all I can say is, “People, what is wrong with you?” Everyone needs to calm down and stop being such assholes to each other. I took Wacky Boy to playgroup last Friday and the community center was in lock-down because the police were trying to find two bad guys (shootings — no one was killed, thank God — from the previous night). We had to knock on the center’s door and be “pre-approved” before entry.

On the one hand, I was so mad at myself for even venturing into that area (I’d heard on the news already about the mess, I just wasn’t thinking). On the other hand, if I never left the house, went to our library, walked to and from school, etc., every time there was an “incident” in my neighborhood I would be on the verge of turning my basement into a bomb shelter, hiding my kids under a blanket on a cot and permanently hiding. (And what a lame word, “incident.” It trivializes the nightmare that’s around us. “Incidentally, another kid was fired on in my neighborhood. A couple weeks ago. In front of the library. Another ‘library incident’.”)

It’s like I’m being told, “It’s just a minor little nothing incident, don’t get upset.” Of course the kids who aren’t causing problems are stressed. They’re smart! They know they’re at risk. They’re worried about their futures.

Please take heart in this — I truly believe it is just, as you call them, a few “punks.” It bums me out, too, that a few idiots can wreak havoc like this. But think of all the good your kid is going to do in the world. Think of what your kid’s solid, smart, good friends will accomplish.

Take care.



1 Comment

  1. Zipdodah says

    Great advice! And, yes, all too often these are referred to as “incidents.” I’ve heard kids say they would rather not say anything, because the adults will think it’s “trivial.”
    I always express to them that all of their feelings are legitimate, and it’s good to express themselves. There are some parents I’ll be passing along this advice to! Between all of us, we will make sure our kids are well informed, and are comfortable expressing their views.
    Thanks WM!

    May 18th, 2006 | #

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