We have come through (are still in) harrowing times--not just the pandemic but partisan divides and a Fascist-like call-out of one group or another. It isn't just Twitter storms or Facebook harangues. As any of us who follow the news know, violence against people from various ethnic or religious groups is on the rise here.
I bring this up now because some of us have been sheltering our grown children during the pandemic--colleges went virtual; so did jobs. Many of our kids who had been living independently came home. Now, with vaccinations making colleges and workplaces safe again, our grown children have been emptying or re-emptying the nest. Those of college age will be leaving by September.
We all worry about our children's safety as they venture out into the world, but what do we do if our kids fall into any of the groups currently under attack by...I'm a little stuck for a word here; I'll go with the Intolerant and Ignorant.
A recent NYTimes piece on nest-emptying offered some advice about intra-family communication in dangerous times. With violence against Asians currently front and enter in the news, the article addressed their concerns in particular.
Here's the relevant excerpt from the article:
Even as vaccinations make the risk of the coronavirus less dire, some families have other reasons to fear for each other’s safety. Ms. Tabag [Kari Tabag, a licensed clinical social worker and professor at Adelphi University] works with several Asian families and says that, in the wake of Asian hate crimes, parents are worried that they can’t protect their children. They used to end conversations with, “I love you. Take care,” she said. “Now it’s ‘Stay safe.’” At the same time, some children she works with fear they can’t be there to protect their parents.
Ms. Tabag said that filial piety is ingrained in Asian children, who are expected to listen, follow directives and not speak back to parents and elders. She believes open communication between parents and children involving concerns about acts of hatred is important. “Asian parents need to speak with their children and disclose their concerns for their safety. This gives the green light for children to open up to their parents and voice their concerns about their parent’s safety.”
photo credit: Maia Lemov