This week has been agonizing for all of us, and especially for parents and caregivers trying to protect children from the terrifying events of the past week. The Museum web site has offered advice to parents on how best to support children: 1) providing honest information but in broad strokes in terms understandable to a child; 2) avoiding frightening TV images; 3) avoiding detailed discussions by older family members in front of children; 4) reassuring children about their parents’ safety and ability to care for them and reminding them of the abundance of helpful people in our community who care for all of us.
Equally important, the Museum has taken care of adults. We have supported our own staff emotionally and have reached out to first responders, health care providers and their families to offer free admission so that they have a place of respite to recover from their own stress.
We all admire the resiliency of Bostonians, the courage of helpers at the Marathon finish line, the heroism and dedication of our first responders and health care providers, and the leadership of our President, Governor, Mayor and public safety officials. Continue reading
As the flu season begins to wind down, this is an opportunity to think more broadly about our responsibilities to our neighbors and our fellow citizens. Richard Weissbourd, Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, spoke at our November “Lunch and Learn” about the importance of engaging children in community service, i.e. the importance of giving back to one’s community. Most of our public health advances are in part driven by collective decisions. Vaccinations, while critical to prevent serious illnesses such as meningitis, measles, whooping cough, and flu, never can provide 100% protection unless enough people in the community are immunized to provide “herd immunity.”
Research on early childhood outcomes all point to the same conclusion: “It takes a village to raise a child.” Continue reading
December seems a suitable moment to talk about the influence of the holidays on children and families. First, although this is a very busy season for most families, children probably value time with their parents more than any material objects. It really is not just a cliché that the best gift for your children is your time, whether you are reading to your child or planning family activities together. It is also valuable to protect time for your child to have ample opportunity for free play and creative imagination…overscheduling is all too easy this time of year. Keep reading, there’s more!