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Friday, December 21, 2012

Two Personal Projects After Sandy Hook

Photo from window of Morlen Sinoway Atelier in Fulton Market, Chicago.

Hello reader: In a very round about way I am going to tell you about a book group the Evanston Public Library is starting. If you want to avoid my talk about raising boys to not shoot their peers, scroll to the bottom of this post where the book group info is.

In the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings there have been numerous discussions about the type of parents Adam Lanza had, specifically the type of mother given that he lived with her after his parent's divorce. Was she nurturing? Didn't she see how reclusive her son was and why train him to use weapons?

As we think about the type of parents who raise killers like Adam Lanza, we also look at the type of man Adam was. Just yesterday I read something in, Adam Lanza: America’s crisis of masculinity personified, that made me think deeply about the kind of boys we are raising in America. We are raising boys who are killing one another from the streets of Evanston to the schools of Sandy Hook. Why are our boys killing?

As I think about these questions, I find myself turning a critical eye to my parenting practices (my husband and I are raising two boys) and it occurs to me that I don't lend enough intellectual energy to my parenting of two boys. I am a very reactive and emotional parent, and read very little about the emotional development and social needs of my boys. Could this approach be part of the problem of parenting in America? We’re all too reactive and worried about the wrong things, like if our children like us?

Whatever the answer, I am committing to two things in reaction to the Sandy Hook tragedy; I will become a more conscious parent of boys and men. (Of course lucky for me (and you) Evanston Public Library has an outlet for this change, a book group for parents raising boys. I'm in and you can join too, see the info below.)

Additionally, I am going to advocate that our elected officials change the law and ban assault weapons and demand background checks on all gun purchasing and licensing.

I am by no means Adam Lanza’s mother (click here to read I am Adam Lanza’s Mother by Liza Long), but I have two boys and should do my personal best to make sure they become men who are stewards of this earth and the people on it.

Here is information on Evanston Public Library's book club for raising boys;

Event Type: Family
Age Group(s): Family, Teen
Date: 1/31/2013
Start Time: 7:00 PM
End Time: 8:15 PM

In this book group for parents of boys from toddler to 8th grade, we will read quality children's/YA literature featuring fully-realized boy characters, discuss the story and its characters and discuss how the story relates to our experiences raising our boys. Co-led by Jarrett Dapier, a young adult librarian and father and Betty Mac Kune Karrer, a former family systems therapist at Northwestern University, this book group gives parents a chance to understand boys better and learn strategies for giving boys the support they need to flourish. Our first book will be JOEY PIGZA SWALLOWED THE KEY. Please pick up your copy at the children's desk once you've registered. BOTH PARENTS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND (though not required).
Library: Main Library Google Map

Location: Children's Public Conference Room (First Floor)
Status: Openings

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